22 Apr 2019 18:23

Next launch as part of Antares program involving Ukraine slated for fall of 2019 - source

KYIV. April 22 (Interfax) - The next launch of the United States' Antares carrier rocket built in cooperation with Ukraine as part of NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract for the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for the fall of 2019.

"The next launch as part of the Antares program is scheduled for October 2019," a source familiar with the details of the project's implementation process told Interfax.

"The U.S. client is satisfied with the level of cooperation with the Ukrainian side on this project in light of the Antares carrier rocket's successful launch on April 17, among other things," the source said.

According to the source, the Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant named after Makarov, located in Dnipro, is now completing the implementation of the contract with the U.S.'s Orbital ATK Inc. (Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems since June 2018), signed in 2008, for supplies of 14 first-stage cores until 2019.

"As of today, 12 first-stage cores have already been supplied to the U.S. client as part of the contract, the shipment of another two first-stage cores is slated for the beginning of this summer," the source said.

According to the source, in the fall of 2018, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and the Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant signed a contract for the production of two more first-stage cores for the Antares carrier rockets with the delivery date in 2020-2021.

"The Ukrainian and U.S. sides may sign a new contract as part of the project at the end of the year," the source said, adding that "the Antares program's further development will depend on NASA."