President of Ukraine

Ukraine must restore leadership and status of a leading aerospace state, so we need to change the approach to financing the space industry - Volodymyr Zelenskyy

12 April 2021 - 13:38

Ukraine must restore leadership and status of a leading aerospace state, so we need to change the approach to financing the space industry - Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in a meeting on the development of the space industry of Ukraine, which took place at the National Space Facilities Control And Test Center (NSFCTC).

The President congratulated engineers, designers, scientists, veterans and all those involved in this sphere on the Day of Workers of the Rocket and Space Industry of Ukraine and the World Aviation and Cosmonautics Day. The President reminded that today the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight.

"Our designers and scientists played a key role in the implementation of the Soviet space program, so without too much modesty we can say that the space exploration by mankind would have been impossible without Ukraine," he said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that today, despite all the challenges, domestic designers continue to design and launch satellites, manned spacecraft, orbital stations, and Ukraine is one of the 13 countries of the respected "space state club".

However, the President stressed, we must not only remember the achievements of previous generations, but also develop the industry today.

"We must preserve everything that our older generations have done, but at the same time it is important to ensure that the successes of the past years, the past decades are not the only ones. So that it does not turn out that these would be the only victories we are proud of now, and then our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren would not even remember how much Ukraine has done for this industry. We must make our significant contribution, each in his own place, so that Ukraine continues to have the status of a space state," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The President believes that in the conditions of military aggression, the space industry is a key element of Ukraine's national security and defense.

"Ukraine must restore its leadership and status as a leading aerospace state," he said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that a number of important questions have now arised. In particular, why the State Space Program has not been approved and why there are problems with financing strategically important projects, such as the Sich-2-1 space system.

"The government has recently passed a resolution that will address these issues. But in general, the approach to financing the space industry needs to change. In addition, we need to look for new approaches to planning space activities, optimizing the structure, developing public-private partnership, international cooperation and achieving Ukraine's associate membership in the European Space Agency," the President stressed.

Reporting to the President on the state of affairs in the industry, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Strategic Industries Oleh Uruskyi said that the previous space program ended in 2017. In January this year, the government approved the concept of a national scientific and technical space program, so now the State Space Program has been developed and sent for approval to the relevant departments and ministries. He expressed hope that the approval process would be completed soon and the program would be approved by the government and submitted to the Verkhovna Rada.

Regarding the priorities, Oleh Uruskyi noted that the program includes, among other things, projects to create a system of high resolution remote sensing of the Earth, the development of a lunar module, a number of scientific programs. Many projects are proposed to be developed through public-private partnership. The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine also stressed the need to increase funding for the industry and proposed to include this issue when considering changes to the budget for the current year.

As regards the launch of the Sich-2-1 spacecraft, the government passed a resolution unblocking its funding, which will allow to complete it this year and launch the spacecraft in the future, which Ukraine has not done in the last 10 years.

Volodymyr Horbulin, First Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, noted the high level of cooperation with the United States in the aerospace industry.

"We have reached an unprecedented level of cooperation with Americans. They never trusted anyone to make the first stage of the rocket carrier. This is a recognition of our technological and technical capabilities," he said.

At the same time, Volodymyr Horbulin stressed the need to make up for the losses that have occurred in the industry over the past 10 years for a number of reasons.

The reports at the meeting were also made by: Chairman of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Volodymyr Taftay, who reported on the state and prospects of development of the space industry of Ukraine, Head of the NSFCTC Volodymyr Prysiazhnyi, Head of the Information and Analytical Center of the NSFCTC Serhiy Yanchevskyi, as well as rector of the National Technical University of Ukraine "Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" Mykhailo Zhurovskyi, who participated in a video conference format.