SPACE ACTIVITY OF
UKRAINE ON THE THRESHOLD
OF NEXT MILLENIUM
President of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
The nature and content of space activity in individual countries and of the entire world community have changed significantly since the Second Conference of the United Nations on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE82). There has been a marked improvement in the level of international cooperation and understanding of the potential of space science and technology for solving the common problems of humanity.
The following humanity new tendencies of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space should be noted:
The National Space Agency (NSAU) was established in Ukraine in 1992. Its goal was to control the space industry and establish productive international cooperation in this field of science and technology. The NSAU, in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU), prepared the first State Space Program of Ukraine (1993 - 1997). The Program envisaged a close cooperation with Russia in implementation of joint space projects (for instance, Koronas-1, Inter ball, Bion, MARS-96, etc.), measures for preserving the ground infrastructure of the space industry of Ukraine and establishment of productive cooperation with the USA, China, European countries, as well as other countries of the world.
Ukraine's policy in the area of peaceful development of space is aimed at preserving and strengthening the scientific schools and scientific and engineering potential of the space industry. This, on the one hand, will promote the economic progress of Ukraine, and on the other, will allow it to take a befitting place in the constellation of the space faring countries of the world. Special attention is also given to purpose oriented training of a generation of future designers of space systems and of researchers in the leading educational centers of Kylv, Kharkiv, and Dritepropetrovsk
Let us mention some results of
fulfillment of the first State Space Program
In 1994 the first space vehicle (SV) from the Russian-Ukrainian "Koronas" series was launched, namely "Koronas-1" designed for study of the Sun and the solar-toearth connections. This SV carried the "Difos" telescope made by the academic institutes of Ukraine and Russia and designed for the investigation of the global oscillations of the Sun, including the 160 minute oscillations discovered by the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.
On 31 August 1995 the first officially registered Ukrainian satellite "Sich-l" was launched with the "Cyclon" carrier rocket, the satellite carrying the instrumentation for observation of the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth in the visible, near range infrared and microwave ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. It has to be noted that the majority of "Sich-l" systems and instruments were manufactured in Ukraine. The main goal of the project was the validation of the national infrastructure of space vehicle (SV) control; acquisition, processing and distribution of data for different users of Ukraine. This task was successfully fulfilled.
19 November 1997 marked a significant event in the history of the UkrainianAmerican space cooperation. Cosmonaut Leonid Kadenyuk, the first in the history of the independent Ukraine, flew in space together with US and Japanese astronauts, as a member of the crew of the "Space Shuttle Columbia" spaceship (SS). During this flight, experiments were conducted in the field of space biology prepared by the Institute of Botany and other institutes of the NAS of Ukraine in cooperation with the US institutions. The general educational program was also tnterestlng~ school students in the USA and Ukraine conducted similar experiments in their school laboratories simultaneously with experiments on plant pollination in space. And future space explorers might be growing among them!
In 1997 the Parliament of Ukraine approved the second National Space Program for 1998 2002, Considering the experience of fulfillment of the first program, the limited material and financial resources of Ukraine, as well as the tendencies of development of world astronautics, the second space program is largely oriented to Ukraine's participation in the major international projects, provision of the necessary information to our country on the ecological and technogenic condition of its territory, development of the systems of navigation and telecommunications, as well as study of the near space and problems of vital activity of the live organisms and plants under micro gravity.
Let us briefly dwell on some areas of the second National Space Program.
Remote sensing of the Earth (RSE).
In this field the intent is to upgrade the ground infrastructure of reception, processing and distribution of data, and creation in Ukraine of special RSE data banks containing information from SV of "Sich" and "Okean" series, and the international systems of Earth observation, as well as to widen the range and scope of services provided by the national system of remote sensing of the Earth to different users. The NSAU, being a member of the Committee for Satellite Observation of the Earth (GEOS), supports the development of the integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) and is ready to participate in this work.
Near-earth space studies (ionosphere, magnetosphere, solar wind) in Ukraine were performed using the ground based (ionosphere probing) and space ("Prognoz" series satellites) means. As a further development of work in this area, it is intended to carry out the "Warning" pr 'ect, which aims at studying the ionospheric disturbances caused by the energy flows from the lithosphere and lower atmosphere. The carriers and mechanisms of information transmission in the "lithosphere - troposphere ionosphere" chain, are practically unstudied yet. This problem will be addressed in a number of ionospheric satellite projects which are now being prepared by various countries. The "Warning" project which is planned to be implemented by the Ukrainian scientists in cooperation with the scientists of Russia, Poland and other countries, will be a breakthrough in terms of quality, both as regards a deeper insight into the processes in the ionosphere, and for substantiation of a promising system of space monitoring of the natural and technogenic disasters.
Extra-atmospheric astronomy includes investigations of the objects of far space (Universe). The prospects for development of this area of space science are related to delivery of large telescopes to the near earth orbits.
Ukrainian astronomical institutions are conducting research in different areas of astronomy and astrophysics, using the ground and space facilities. In particular, widely known is the work of Ukrainian scientists on decametric radio astronomy, study of comets and meteorites, star formation processes, etc. Ukraine intends to participate in fulfillment of the Russian projects of the "Spectr" series and is interested in establishment of cooperation with the ESA and NASA in this area of space science.
Space biology. Practically all spheres of human activity are now feeling the impact of space technology. And even though it is difficult to envision the consequences of this influence in the XXI century, there are problems which are of paramount importance for the future of the terrestrial civilization. Among such problems in the field of space biology the study of the condition and growth of organisms under weightlessness, which forms the basis for functioning of the life support systems on board the space vehicles, development of the systems of space plant growing and biotechnologies. Investigations in this area have been conducted by Ukrainian scientists since 1975. They derived unique data on the essential influence of micro gravity on cell metabolism and living organisms. Of immediate practical importance is the work of Ukrainian scientists on electrophoresis and electrofocusing of proteins under the space flight conditions with the aim of production of highly purified medicines and reagents (growth factor ferments, etc.). In view of the urgency and importance of the considered problem, as well as the problem of organisms growth and development under micro gravity, in particular, clarification of the ability of raising the second and subsequent generations of higher plants during the space flight, Ukrainian scientists are planning an active participation in the biological experiments on board the ISS.
Space technologies. Ukrainian scientists have been traditionally conducting research in the field of micro gravitational physics with the aim Of studying the influence of the space flight factors on the processes of solidification, behavior of liquid single- and multi-phase systems. The Paton Electric Welding Institute of the NAS of Ukraine has been working for more than 30 years already on the issues related to development of welding and related technologies of processing materials in space (welding, brazing, coating, heat treatment), as well as equipment for conducting the above work in space. The work on erection and repair of large sized constructions in space also takes an important place. Over the recent years, several generations of versatile tools and auxiliary hardware have been developed, which allow performance of mounting and repair restoration work in space, primarily with manual and mechanized welding, as well as other technologies. Much of this work has been done in cooperation with experts from Russia, USA, Germany. Over the last years the institutes of the NAS of Ukraine have been looking for solutions of the fundamental and applied problems of production under micro gravity of new perfect semi-conductor and composite materials. It is also planned to perform this kind of work under the IS S program.
Space transportation systems (STS). The base of the transportation engineering systems of Ukraine is made up by two worldwide known carrier rockets (CR), namely "Cyclon" and "Zenit". The all-purpose "Zenit" space rocket system is designed for fast launching of various purpose space vehicles of up to 14 tons weight to the low- and medium altitude circular, including solar synchronized, and elliptical orbits. The systems feature a high efficient, fully automatic ground start allowing performance in a self-sufficient mode and in minimal time of the individual launches, and series of successive launches of carrier rocket without the need to perform any repair restoration work.
The technical parameters, and the production facilities for "Cyclon" and "Zenit" CR fabrication, allow fully coverage of the need for launches of space vehicles of the scientific and applied nature. Upgrading of "Zenit" space rocket system (SRS) has been performed for providing the capability of taking vehicles of up to 2.7 tons weight to the geostationary orbit when launched from the equatorial region. This project is being implemented together with Russia, US and Norway and envisages the use of a towed sea platform as a launching facility, under the "Sea Launch" program. An important stage of work under this project, was performance in March of this year of the space start of "Zenith" CR from a sea platform.
Ukraine's participation in this program opens up new possibilities for it for the development of space transportation systems (STS) for the international market. Further prospects for launching the national space vehicles are related to upgrading the "Cyclon" rocket and taking further, together with Russia, the work on the use of "SS-18" missiles as STS ("Dniepe' CR). The first successful launch of a British satellite to orbit using "Dniepr" carrier rocket was performed on April 21 of this year. The long-term program of space activity of Ukraine also envisages the start of development of new promising STS, using the airplanes of the Kiev Antonov Aircraft Science and Engineering Complex, namely "Mriya" and "Ruslan".
Holding LTNISPACE-111 gave the
experts and persons responsible for taking decisions from different countries of the
world, a unique chance to come together and exchange information and proposals on
improvement of the quality of life of humanity in the next millennium. Space exploration
and development for peaceful purposes ensures mutual understanding between the peoples
through cooperation in addressing the global issues. Ukraine's vision is to be one of the
active contributors to this process which determines the pace of social progress.
Considering the social significance of the preservation of human life, Ukraine puts forward the initiative of establishing a "Space Patrol" system under the UN auspices, that is the global system of warning on emergencies and hazardous situations which pose a real threat to the society and a human being, including a state or private property. The system will be promptly transmitting information on extraordinary events from objects and people to regional controller points of emergency and rescue services, so that emergency measures are taken to rescue human lives and control emergencies. The feedback channel will be used to render an urgent assistance to the people in distress, including the transmission of emergency instructions to them. The system provides for the equipment of potentially hazardous industry installations, transport vehicles and houses with special pickups. The small size pickups will make it possible to control the life and health of people. The system connected with the GPS will enable the emergency and rescue services to render prompt and accurate assistance to those in need, and to localize the emergency situation.
Taking into account the special importance of the information, the system provides for the use of the space and ground segments. The system of mobile radio communication is used as the ground segment. The system has already been tested experimentally under the GSM protocol. The space segment includes a specialized low orbit grouping and satellites of other systems of mobile communication. The experimental testing of the system in cooperation with Lockheed Martin company via GARUDA- I communications satellite is planned for the end of this year.
The specialized grouping will be deployed using the Ukrainian-Russian "Dniepr" Space Vehicle developed on the basis of the conversion SS-18 rocket. It ~s symbolical that on the verge of a new millennium the most powerful combat rocket will be used for a UN humanitarian mission.
Ukraine is seeking the UN support to the "Space Patrol" project, and all nations of the world are invited to cooperate.