Cyclone 4 Booster Might Be Launched From Nova Scotia

Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

Old rockets never die. They just migrate to a different part of the globe.

Ukraine’s Cyclone 4 satellite booster — left without a launch site in 2015 following the end of a decade-long partnership to launch it from Brazil’s Alcantara spaceport — has resurfaced. And Nova Scotia, Canada is on the list of possible launch locations.

The Canso-Hazel Hill area in Guysborough County has been shortlisted as a future launch base to send satellite-carrying rockets into space, one of a handful of spots across North American being eyed by a Nova Scotia company….

“The Canso site prospect is the most mature one in Canada at this point, but not the only candidate,” company president Steve Matier said in an email.

Matier spent most of 2016 evaluating about 15 potential launch locations in North America for the Ukrainian Cyclone 4M medium-class rocket….

Maritime Launch Services was jointly formed in Nova Scotia by three U.S. companies.

Alcantara Cyclone Space, a partnership of the Brazilian and Ukrainian governments, had previously attempted to launch the booster from the South American nation. However, the program suffered delays and cost overruns amid questions about the rocket’s commercial viability. The Brazilian government pulled the plug on the program in 2015 after a decade of effort.

IMF: Ukraine Space Sector Possibly Suffered 80 Percent Revenue Loss

The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket is shipped out from Yuzhnoye design bureau in Ukraine. (Credt: Yuzhnoye)
The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares (aka, Taurus II) rocket is shipped out from Yuzhnoye design bureau in Ukraine. (Credt: Yuzhnoye)

The International Monetary Fund estimates the Ukrainian space industry lost up to 80 percent of its revenues following the Russian invasion of the eastern part of the country.

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Brazil Abandons Troubled Cyclone-4 Program

Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)
Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

It looks like the rumors I reported last month are true. Brazil has decided to pull out of its joint program with Ukraine to launch satellites aboard Cyclone-4 boosters from the Alcantara Launch Center.

“It is an accumulation of issues,” said Petronio Noronha de Souza, AEB’s director of space policy and strategic investments. “There have been challenges on the budget issues, on the technological aspects, in the relationship between Brazil and Ukraine and in the actual market for export that would be available. So it is a combination of things.”

In an April 14 interview at the Latin America Aero and Defense, or LAAD, show here, Noronha de Souza said a formal government announcement, likely from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the program’s stoppage was imminent.

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Is Brazil Ending Cyclone-4 Program With Ukraine?

Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)
Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

A report out of Brazil says President Dilma Rousseff is preparing to end the long trouble and repeatedly delayed Cyclone-4 program with Ukraine.

The story, written by Roberto Lopes, the opinion editor of the Journal of Defence Forces, quotes a sourcein the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Russia Severing Ties With Ukraine on Dnepr, Zenit Launch Programs

Dnepr launch vehicle. (Credit: ISC Kosmotras)
Dnepr launch vehicle. (Credit: ISC Kosmotras)

Roscosmos officials made announcements this week that they would be suspending a joint program with Ukraine to launch Dnepr rockets and were no longer interested in buying Ukrainian Zenit boosters, deepening problems for that embattled nation’s space program and its struggling Yuzhmash factory.

Dneprs are converted SS-18 ballistic missiles that are converted into satellite launchers by Ukraine’s Yuzhmash launch vehicle manufacturer. The boosters are launched by the Moscow-based Moscow-based Kosmotras International Space Company, which is Russian-Ukrainian joint venture.

Russian media report three Dnepr launches scheduled this year will be carried out. However, The Moscow Times reports the future of the venture remains cloudy. It is possible the program will end, or Russia will convert the missiles to satellite launchers without Ukrainian participation.

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Will Sea Launch End Up in Brazil?

sea_launch_zenitRussia’s efforts to find a new home for its failure-prone Sea Launch company has taken officials to rising South American power — and charter BRICS member — Brazil.

That’s the word from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin anyway.

“A quite remarkable dialogue at the level of experts is currently in progress; possibly, the idea may take shape within the BRICS group, or in our bilateral relations with Brazil, of carrying out such joint launches and furnishing assistance to Brazil in developing its space industry and making its own spacecraft,” he said, adding that Brazil already had its own space site close to the ocean that would fit in well with such tasks.
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GLXP Update: SpaceMETA Signs MOU With Alcantara Cyclone Space

Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)
Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

BUDAPEST, Hungary June 4 2014 (SpaceMETA PR) — SpaceMETA (www.spacemeta.com) and Alcantara Cyclone Space (www.alcantaracyclonespace.com) are proud to announce the signature of a MOU – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU No 2014-1-1 SM-ACS) for the launch of the SPACEMETA-LUMEM – Lunar Micro Explore Mission as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

SpaceMETA, an official team competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (www.googlelunarxprize.org), a race to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, has just concluded the final phase of the signatures of the MOU with the binational company Alcantara Cyclone Space (ACS) for the launch of SpaceMETA mission. According to the MOU, ACS delivers the SpaceMETA payload, called “SOLITAIRE”, into the basic orbit for subsequent translunar orbit injection using the payload’s own propulsion. The spacecraft, which has been designed in Brazil, will have the capability to detect water-ice thought to be present in regions under the lunar surface.

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Putin Eyes Ukraine’s Space and Defense Industries

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks over plans for Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks over plans for Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Russian Federation was left with some key installations and capabilities in newly-independent nations. Kazakhstan had authority over the main launch facility at Baikonur, while Ukraine found itself in control of ballistic missile producer Yuzhmash, the Yuzhnoye bureau that designs Yuzhmash’s rockets, and a host of other defense companies.

Today, more than 50 Ukrainian arms factories turn out technologies that are vital for the nation’s tottering economy and the Russian military that now threatens to invade it. The factories are located in the southern and eastern portions of Ukraine, where Moscow-based separatists have wrestled control away from local authorities.

With the fate of these regions and companies still very much up for grabs, the outcome is of concern far beyond eastern Ukraine. Launch providers in the United States, Europe and Brazil are looking on with great concern and trepidation.

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Alcantara Cyclone Space to Launch 50 CubeSats

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket
Ukraine’s Cyclone-4 rocket

BRUSSELS, Belgium — On January 27th, 2014, Alcantara Cyclone Space (ACS) and Von Karman Institute (VKI) signed a launch service contract for the QB50 Project co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Program. The contract was signed by Oleksandr Serdyuk, Ukrainian ACS General Director, and Jean Muylaert, VKI Director.

QB50 will place into Low Earth Orbit a combination of 50 double and triple CubeSats for atmospheric science and in-orbit demonstration of space technologies.

The mission, conducted by an international consortium of partners, will facilitate access to space for educational, technology and scientific purpose involving the worldwide CubeSat community. The launch is planned for 2016.

On January 28th, 2014, the launch service contract was officially announced to the QB50 community at the 7th QB50 Workshop held on the premises of VKI, in the presence of Florence Béroud, a European Commission representative.

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.

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Cyclone-4 Project Gets Funding Infusions From Brazil, Ukraine

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket
Ukraine’s Cyclone rocket

ACS PRs — The Brazilian Government has made a planned contribution of R$33,333,333 [$14,671,361] to the ACS capital. Transfer of these funds was authorized by the Presidential Decree dated 23.08.2013 and published on 26.08.2013 in the Diário Oficial da União, the official newspaper.

The Decree also mentioned the equivalent contribution of the Ukrainian Party realized by means of intergovernmental transfer.

The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has approved the State Scientific and Technical Space Program of Ukraine for the period of 2013-2017 and accepted for consideration the Draft Law on Financial Support of the Cyclone-4 Project Implementation.

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Brazil’s Cyclone-4 Project Hits Another Snag as Workers Laid Off

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket
Ukraine’s Cyclone rocket

Brazil’s decade-long quest to bring Ukraine’s Cyclone-4 rocket to the Alcantara Launch Center is reported to have hit another snag, this time due to financial problems at the Alcantara Cyclone Space (ACS) company. The Jorno do Brasil reports (via Google Translate):

According to sources close to the Alcantara Space Base, where the program is developed in the country, about two thousand [workers] contracted by ACS were discharged in the last two months. The scenery in this place is abandoned, as shown in photos uploaded to the Official Brazil. Most equipment has been rented and returned those remaining on the base are abandoned in the open air without any maintenance, according to the same sources….

Complaints received by the Journal of Brazil also relate to the subject of the work stoppage. According to the sources, to dismiss officials, heads of departments claimed that “it [layoffs] is happening because the company [ACS] has not paid the contractors.”

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Ukraine Ranks in Top 5 for Space Launches

Ukrainian Zenit rocket launch.

KYIV, Ukraine, March 2, 2012 (Worldwide News Ukraine PR) — Ukrainian State Space Agency informed that in 2011 Ukraine joined China, the EU, Russia, and the USA becoming one of the top five space rocket launching countries in the world. Since 1991 Ukraine grew into a significant player in the field of space industry, having launched 125 rockets and delivered into orbit 238 satellites that belonged to 19 countries.

As of today Ukraine has launched its rockets from four space launch facilities across the globe. By 2013, the country will start using the fifth launching platform for rocket launches as a joint Ukrainian-Brazilian project Alcantara Cyclone Space will be complete. The binational project will provide a launching facility in one of the most advantageous locations on the planet.

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Ukraine Defense Minister Guarantees $250 Million for Joint Rocket Effort

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

Brazilian Ministry of Defense PR — On a visit to the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, Defense Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Yezhel Bronislavovych, said today that Ukraine is transferring its part of investment in Alcântara Cyclone Space (ACS), a binational company created to market business services from rocket and satellite Maranhão.

“We have the resources of U.S. $250 million to be invested from October. We are also open to transfer technology to a new satellite launcher, the Cyclone 5, which will be produced jointly with Brazil,” he said.

The Brazilian Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, said that ACS is a strategic project for Brazil.

“Most of the program is under the control of the Brazilian Space Agency, the Defense Ministry has only a small share, but the promised contribution is excellent news, which bodes well for technological cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

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