Canada and the Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding* for cooperation in space this past week in Montreal.
A Ukrainian delegation led by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Pavel Degtiarenko, Chairman of the State Space Agency of Ukraine met with Canadian representatives to discuss a number of areas the two countries could jointly work on.
The Canadian delegation was led by Roman Waschuck, Ambassador of Canada to the Ukraine, and Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
SpaceQ contacted the CSA for more details on the meeting and agreement. A CSA representative said “the scope of the MOU is broad and covers a range of potential areas of collaboration including scientific research, education and training, and technology development and application. The MOU provides a framework to facilitate collaboration. Each proposal for collaboration will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and agreed to by both space agencies.”
The CSA representative also said “this MOU in the Field of Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes is a first step to show both countries’ interest to work together on a wide variety of space projects, and to deepen collaborative effort to promote the peaceful use and exploration of space, advancing the knowledge of space through science, and ensuring that space science and technology continue to benefit our citizens and industries. This MOU will strengthen international networks and open up opportunities for collaboration, in turn enabling job and business creation. Collaboration, both nationally and internationally, is the cornerstone of the Canadian Space Program and key to its success.”
The Ukrainian Perspective
The Ukrainian delegation was more specific on the topics of areas of cooperation and possible joint projects . The “Ukraine and Canada are discussing a number of joint projects. In particular, the construction of the An-132 aircraft (engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney Canada), as well as the creation of the platform, which is being built, for space launches in Nova Scotia, Canada. The project is planned to be implemented by Maritime Launch Services and the SE ‘Design Bureau ‘Yuzhnoye’ named after Yangel’. Apart from that, a project on cooperation between Canadian and Ukrainian enterprises concerning the launch of nanosatellites with the help of the Microspace-2 aerospace launch system is being worked out now.”
Also present at the meeting by way of an invitation from the Ukrainian delegation was Steve Matier, CEO of Maritime Launch Services (MLS). MLS hopes to be begin launching payloads to orbit using a Ukrainian Cyclone-4M launch vehicle from a yet to be built spaceport in Nova Scotia.
* Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 – An earlier version of this article stated that “Canada and the Ukraine signed a comprehensive memorandum (MOU) of understanding”. In fact, discussions leading up to the signing of the MOU were comprehensive, but the agreement itself is not comprehensive. Furthermore, since no projects have been agreed to at this point, the Canadian Space Agency was not going to issue a press release regarding the signing of the MOU. It is only the eagerness of the Ukrainian delegation in wanting forge closer ties to Canada that the news of the MOU became public knowledge.