Tymoshenko Plans To Launch Ukraine's First Satellite

DNIPROPETROVSK, Ukraine -- While visiting Ukraine’s Pivden rocket design bureau in Dnipropetrovsk on April 10, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko unveiled bold plans to put the country’s first satellite into orbit by September 2011.

Tymoshenko said the government would give Hr 2 billion ($0.25 billion) this year to fund the project.

The Pivden bureau and the closely-linked Pivdenmash rocket factory in Dnipropetrovsk were the Soviet Union’s main producers of rockets.

Former Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev once said they were capable of churning out rockets like “sausages.”

He said: “Our missiles come off the assembly line like sausages, one every minute.”

Since independence, Ukraine’s factories have used this Soviet technology to produce dozens of rocket boosters used by Russia and the West to launch satellites into orbit.

With much of the technology already in place, Ukraine has a chance to produce and operate its own satellite network, using it for national communication needs and charging customers for access.

Source: Kyiv Post