November 2019 – Ukraine's space industry has entered a new era. On 25 October 2019 the President signed the recently approved Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on the State Regulation of Space Activities". The main purpose of the new legislation is to commercialise space activities in Ukraine, which until now were reserved for state operators. The changes take effect on 29 January 2020, with certain provisions taking effect in October next year.
Ukraine was once a powerhouse of the Soviet space industry and was an active space user after gaining independence in 1991. Afterwards, the Ukrainian State Space Agency participated in numerous space projects such as Sea Launch, Land Launch, Dnipro and Twinning Space, and Ukrainian producers have supplied equipment globally. Yuzhnoye Design Office and the YuzhMash rocket plant were the backbone of the country's five space programs. However, due to the termination of space co-operation with Russia and general economic difficulties, Ukraine has started to gradually lose its status as a space nation.
The new law would allow Ukrainian citizens and companies of all ownership types to explore and use Earth orbits and outer space on behalf of Ukraine, while decreasing the role of the state to supervise and control such activities. Private entities that would like to conduct space activities must submit a declaration to the state authorities. Certain types of space activities, such as rocket testing and launching and satellite controlling, also require a permit.
Shortly after the signature of the above-mentioned legislation, a US-based private space explorer, Firefly Aerospace, which is developing its own satellite launcher, placed an order with YuzhMash for the mass production of rocket parts. The value of the deal is estimated at USD 15 million.
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