One of the tests of the Antares rocket
"Ukraine cooperates with the U.S. Orbital ATK in construction of Antares. The hotfire tests of the redesigned rocket were successfully completed in June. There were no remarks regarding the operation of the systems and components of the core stage. The first launch of the redesigned rocket is scheduled for August 2016," Chairman of the State Space Agency of Ukraine Liubomyr Sabadosh said.
Installation of new engines of the Antares rocket's core stage
The Antares project started in 2013. As part of this project, Ukraine designed and manufactured the core stage of the U.S. Antares rocket, aimed to deliver cargo to the International Space Station from the U.S. Spaceport on Wallops Island.
The core stage was designed by the Ukrainian Pivdenne Design Office and manufactured by Pivdenmash machine-building company, located in Dnipro. Hartron Arcos (Kharkiv), Hartron-UCOM (Zaporizhia), Chezara, Rapid (Chernihiv), and other Ukrainian enterprises were also involved in designing the rocket's core stage. Ukrainians took part not only in manufacturing the core stage but also actively participated in the tests carried out in the United States.
A hotfire test of the Antares rocket's first stage
A total of five tests have already been held. Four of them were successful.
"The project was suspended in 2014 following the rocket explosion seconds after its launch because of troubles with the engines. The U.S. has decided to replace the Russian-manufactured engines then," the agency noted.
The Ukrainian experts have been redesigning the core stage over the last year and a half, adapting it to the new engine. Thus, the first launch of the redesigned rocket was scheduled for August 2016.