Ukraine plans to send research satellite to Moon in 2017

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Nov. 10, 2011, 7:17 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine plans to implement a project called Selena in 2017 involving the launch of a small scientific satellite to fly around the Moon.

Ukraine plans to implement a project called Selena in 2017 involving the launch of a small scientific satellite to fly around the Moon, adviser to the head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) Eduard Kuznetsov told reporters during a meeting of the press club at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine in Kyiv on Thursday. According to Kuznetsov, the "lunar" satellite will be developed by Dnipropetrovsk-based Pivdenne Design Bureau and will be equipped with the new Ukrainian Krechet upper stage.

The satellite is planned to be launched with the help of the Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr rocket.

At the same time, the adviser to the SSAU head said that he supported Ukraine's participation in the future international space science missions for the exploration of the closest of the planets - Venus and Mars.

Commenting on the prospects of the Russian space research mission to Mars, in connection with the unsuccessful launch of the Phobos-Grunt interplanetary spacecraft, Kuznetsov said Russian experts had not yet exhausted all of the the possibilities to save the spacecraft.

"There is still a possibility to rectify everything so that the mission can continue," he said.

As reported, the Phobos-Grunt interplanetary research rover, launched from the Baikonur Space Center early on Wednesday, reached earth orbit, but its orientation system failed and the spacecraft's engine, which was to put it on course to Mars failed to fire, earlier reports said.
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