Cyclone-4 Launch From Brazil Slips into 2015

The construction of the Cyclone-4 assembly and test facility. (Credit: HCA)
The construction of the Cyclone-4 assembly and test facility. (Credit: HCA)

Aviation Week reports the decade-long effort to launch Ukraine’s Cyclone-4 rocket from Brazil’s Alcantara Launch Center is going to take a little longer.

The inaugural flight has now slipped into late 2015 at the earliest, adding to what has already been years of delay. Meanwhile, costs of building the launch complex have nearly doubled and are approaching $1 billion.

Since breaking ground on the ACS launch pad in 2010, the government-backed venture has spent close to $300 million developing the site, which is now 48% complete. The project is running almost three years behind schedule, however, as funding delays and legal wrangling with local tribes has stalled development of the launch center. In May, Guchenkov says the governments of Ukraine and Brazil jointly approved an increase in total ACS spending for the site, from around $487 million to $918 million.

He says ACS is planning to complete construction of the launch pad at Alcantara next year, with Cyclone 4 hardware delivery and testing at the site to begin in early 2015. He says the launch vehicle is 76% complete and has undergone 73% of its scheduled test regime, including completion of ground tests.

Cyclone-4 is an upgraded version of the Soviet-era Cyclone-2 and Cyclone-3 launch vehicles. It will be able to deliver satellites to low Earth and geosynchronous orbits.

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