Ukraine prods Russia on space program

Nov. 23, 2012 at 3:46 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Ukraine is urging Russia to take action on a proposed joint space launch program, saying implementation depends on the Russia Defense Ministry.

Ukraine has done its part of the work on the project and the ball is in Russia's court, the head of the Ukrainian State Space Agency said.

"We have dealt with all questions at our end; the questions now should be addressed to the [Russian] Defense Ministry," Yuriy Alekseyev said.

The future of the project -- dubbed Dnepr -- has become uncertain with talk of Russia deciding to close it as unviable, RIA Novosti reported.

The Dnepr rocket is a converted ICBM booster that has put a total of 62 satellites into orbit since the first launch April 21, 1999.

It was developed from the SS-18 Satan ICBM, designed by Ukraine's Yuzhnoe Design Bureau.

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