National Ukrainian Spaceport to be built in Odessa region

Odessa, Jan. 20 – press conference organised by the Association of Innovation and Space Clusters of Ukraine; Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration, Serhiy Hrynevetsky; and Head of the National Center for Space Management and Testing, Volodymyr Prysyazhny.

Territory has been found on the administrative border of Odessa and Mykolayiv regions for the creation of a new Ukrainian spaceport.

The news was announced at the press conference organised by the Association of Innovation and Space Clusters of Ukraine; Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration, Serhiy Hrynevetsky; and Head of the National Center for Space Management and Testing, Volodymyr Prysyazhny.

However, construction of a strategic facility on the Black Sea Coast needs approval from neighboring Turkey because of the risk of second stage launch vehicles falling back to its territory.

So far, a spaceport has not been built in Ukraine because our territory is densely populated. And when building such a facility, certain requirements must be met. In particular, a deserted territory is needed – an expanse of at least 500 kilometers under the flight path of launch vehicles and 200 kilometers on both sides of this route.

Serhiy Hrynevetsky, Odessa Regional State Administration

For his part, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Space Cluster, Yevhen Rokytskyi, clarified that there are already technologies that allow launch vehicles to take off and make a controlled return without the need for an exclusion zone.

Specialists in rocket technology, including in Ukraine, are already creating launch vehicles with rotating stages, which removes the need for exclusion zones. The technology would create a controlled return of the first or second stage detachments. For example, the United Kingdom recently announced the creation of seven spaceports on its territory, near the city of Edinburgh, and has already invested in the implementation of these projects.

Yevhen Rokytskyi, Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Space Cluster

According to Vladimir Prisyazhny of the National Center for Space Management and Testing, it is possible to launch missiles with an inclination of 70-80 degrees towards Turkey, but it would be necessary to agree with Turkey that it will allow the flight of the second stage through its territory.

The conference participants noted that it is already possible to agree on the launch of Ukrainian spacecraft from Canada or Australia, as well as possible sea or air launches.

Our task is for our cluster to cooperate with European clusters and the European Space Agency. After all, space today is not only a benefit for the national economy, but an aid to ensure the defense capabilities of our country.

Serhiy Taruta, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on economic development

According to Odessa’s Deputy Mayor, Pavel Vugelman, the scientific and technological potential of Odessa can be used to support the space industry. The first innovation and space cluster to already benefit Ukraine and the Odessa region in particular, is the Black Sea Cluster. With its help, a map of unauthorised dumps in Odessa (more than 1,258 objects) has been created and the project of resuscitating pumping stations for irrigation systems is being developed.

The cluster’s researchers also created a project using interferometry technologies.

This tool allows us to record changes in the parameters of existing buildings and hydraulic structures to the nearest millimeter. We are already using the gained experience and practical recommendations in the activities of the departments of urban planning and housing and communal services of Odessa.

Pavel Vugelman, Deputy Mayor of Odessa

The cluster includes Odessa’s universities, IT companies, industrial and defense companies, which are the largest taxpayers in Ukraine. Their collective participation in the State Space Programme looks set to create many new jobs.

Further to the press conference, the Odessa Regional Conference Centre hosted the constituent conference of representatives of the regional innovation and space clusters “Black Sea”, “Polissya”, “Slobozhanshchina” and “Dnipro Space Cluster”. They discussed future construction and exchange experiences, then at the conclusion of the conference established the new Association of Innovation and Space Clusters of Ukraine.

According to experts, this will give impetus to the development of space science and technology in Ukraine

Furthermore, it will promote the entry of new Ukrainian enterprises into the international arena.

At the end of the debate, conference participants elected Serhiy Taruta as President of the new Association, Serhiy Hrynevetsky as Vice-President, and Yevhen Rokytsky as Chairman. The supervisory board of the Association is headed by Pavel Vugelman.

It was noted that all activities will be based on the grant system and will cooperate with the European Space Agency.

Today, the whole world is competing for technology, resources and talent, and Odessa is famous for its talent. Today we have more than 170 IT companies, and a number of organizations are already creating applications and software for the space agency, NASA and for all kinds of organisations.

Pavel Vugelman

By Ugo Poletti – Published on Kyiv Post on Jan. 21, 2022