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Ukraine presses Russia on joint space launch program

23 November 2012 15:56 (UTC+04:00)
Ukraine presses Russia on joint space launch program

The implementation of a Russian-Ukrainian space launch program now depends on the Russian Defense Ministry, the head of the Ukrainian State Space Agency said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

Yuriy Alekseyev said Ukraine has done its part of the work on the Dnepr project and added that the ball is now in Russia's court.

"We have dealt with all questions at our end; the questions now should be addressed to the [Russian] Defense Ministry," he said.

The program's future became uncertain, with reports saying Russia had decided to close it as unviable.

The Russian and Ukrainian heads of state recently decided to resume work on the program. Russian Federal Space Agency chief Vladimir Popovkin has said all the issues should be clarified by late October.

The Dnepr rocket is a converted ICBM used for launching satellites into orbit, operated by launch service provider ISC Kosmotras. A total of 62 satellites have been put into orbit since the first launch, on April 21, 1999.

The Dnepr is based on the SS-18 Satan ICBM, designed by Ukraine's Yuzhnoe Design Bureau.

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