Ukraine's objective is to complete all the primary work to launch the Ukrainian rocket Cyclone-4 from the facility in the North Western Brazil by 2013, stated President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in his interview with Brazilian newspaper O Globo during his official visit to Brazil on October 23-26. Brazil is responsible for the construction of the launch base while Ukrainian constructors are currently working on the carrier rockets.
The strategic project Alcantara Cyclone Space has entered the phase of practical implementation, stated President Yanukovych. "I have no doubt that this project will become a reality soon," said the Ukrainian leader.
The location of the launching platform is extremely beneficial because of its close proximity to the equator (2°17′S 44°23′W) mentioned the Ukrainian Ambassador to Brazil Igor Grushko in his interview to the journalists, according to UNIAN. He noted that the Alcantara Cyclone Space project is set to be commercially successful. The cost of rocket launch from this location is 20% less than average, said Ambassador Grushko. He also noted that the Ukraine has already invested over USD 130 million. The total project cost is estimated at USD 488 million.
Alcantara Cyclone Space is a binational project born out of the long-lasting negotiations between Brazil and Ukraine. In 1999 the governments of Ukraine and Brazil signed an agreement on space cooperation, but it was not until 2006 that the company Alcantara Cyclone Space was established and the project progressed further.
Cyclone-4 is a three stage expendable launch system. Its advantages include increased fuel efficiency and safety of the launch process due to automatized prelaunch operations. The preparation stage is reduced to under 12 hours and its cost is decreased as the number of personnel needed for the lift-off is smaller.
Ukraine is one of the three successors of the Soviet Union's space industry. The country is one of the five in the world owning a complete rocket production cycle. Ukrainian space industry companies utilize most of the known space technologies and participate in 50 international space projects. Over the last 10 years Ukraine deployed 120 launchers.
Ukraine occupies one of the world's leading positions among the rocket launcher producers with the Ukrainian SDO Yuzhnoe having produced over 400 Earth satellites.