Day 2-3 at the Conference “Space Technologies: Present and Future”

The conference “Space Technologies: Present and Future” was established by Ukrainian space industry organizations (Yuzhnoye State Design Office, Yuzhmash plant, State Space Agency of Ukraine), and is held under the aegis of the International Academy of Astronautics.

In our introduction article we provided major details of the 5th International Conference “Space Technologies: Present and Future”. The next article was dedicated to the first day of the Conference: opening ceremony, press-conference and plenary session. Here we focus on the most interesting events, happened on the second and third Conference days.

Alex Degtyarev, Yuzhnoye SDO General Designer, talks at the Conference. Credit: space.com.ua
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On the second and third Conference days following 5 technical sessions and two round-tables were held. These are:

  • Current and future space launch systems, launch vehicles, their components and systems;
  • Current and future space satellite systems;
  • Future rocket engines and power propulsion systems;
  • Materials and technologies;
  • Space for humankind;
  • Ukrainian-European seminar (extended round-table) on the active space debris removal;
  • Round-table on the Spacecraft in-Orbit Servicing ('SOS').

During technical sessions, Yuzhnoye SDO as the organizer and other Ukrainian space organizations were focused on their conventional product range, which includes launch vehicles, satellites and their components. However, and it is worth to emphasize, much attention was paid on such newcoming and on-the-edge-of-market initiatives like in-orbit services, dedicated small satellite launcher, and rocket engines' advanced technologies.

LEOSWEEP, joint Ukrainian-European space junk removal project within FP7 Program. Credit: Yuzhnoye SDO
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Thus, last moment decided round-table on the Spacecraft in-Orbit Servicing ('SOS') gathered representatives of European and Ukrainian companies. They made in total 10 reports, focusing on real steps towards creation of operational vehicles. They also agreed on an importance of development of a fully automated system, which will conquer the market provided being introduced in the near future.

“I hope we will soon kick off hardware experimental tests.” Alexander Degtyarev, Yuzhnoye SDO General Designer, talking about new-generation technologies and products

Conference attendees were thrilled to meet and talked to the first Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and Klim Churyumov, co-founder of worldwide famous 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. The former, who took part in two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, presented report about 25th anniversary of the International Space Station-based telescope, and the latter described in details European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to 67P comet, Philae landing on it, and associated scientific findings.

It is also interesting to note an exhibition of outer-space-related items, such as real spacesuits, asteroids and even moon soil samples, that were kindly introduced by Arthur Dula, Trustee of the Robert and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust, to young and adult space enthusiasts and professionals. As we mentioned in previous articles about the Conference, Orbital ATK sponsored coffee-breaks, and Mikrosam, Macedonia-based composites manufacturing solutions provider, sponsored free Wi-Fi throughout the Conference hall.

Informal photo gallery of the Conference is below:

Meanwhile, press-service of State Space Agency of Ukraine reported that its Chief Oleg Uruskyi used the Conference to hold several business meetings. Thus, on May 20 he met with representatives of Orbital ATK and discussed further Antares program cooperation (Ukrainian companies make first stage of the rocket, excluding engines), as well as raised a question of joint exploitation of a modified Cyclone-4 launcher from the US soil.

In a day, on May 21, he visited Yuzhmash plant in order to inspect preparation to reorganization and effective management system implementation (SpaceDigest described scope of the plant's problems in its post). He also noted the importance of optimization of manufacturing and office facilities at the enterprise, where number of employees decreased from 50,000 to just 7,500 in 20 years. The “Yuzhmash issue” is seen as critical for the Chairman of Ukrainian space industry, appointed only few months ago.

Oleg Uruskyi also met with the President of Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) Marius-Ioan Piso. The key topic of their meeting was Romanian experience in joining the European Space Agency.

“Ukraine’s entry into the European Space Agency is our strategic goal, written in the national Strategy of space activities until 2022. Romania’s experience and advises are very important for us on this path.” Oleg Uruskyi, Chief of State Space Agency of Ukraine

Summarizing the Conference, Alexander Kashanov, Yuzhnoye's Deputy Director responsible for Science and Education, mentioned the following milestones:

  • 360 participants from 20 countries;
  • Top-level attendees, including Oleg Uruskyi, Chief of State Space Agency of Ukraine, Marius Piso and Filippo Graziani, Members of the Board of Trustees at the International Academy of Astronautics, Claude Nicollier, four-times Swiss astronaut, and other;
  • 120 reports within 5 technical sessions and two round-tables;
  • Two world-recognized and important reports on Hubble Space Telescope 25th anniversary and ESA's Rosetta mission;
  • Topical problems and achievements of Ukrainian space industry, described by executives of leading industrial organizations, such as Alexander Degtyarev (Yuzhnoye SDO), Yaroslav Yatskiv (National Academy of Sciences), Anatoly Alpatov (Institute of Technical Mechanics), Oleg Fedorov (Institute of Space Research), and other;
  • Following globally important topical questions were raised and discussed: advanced materials and technologies, space debris removal, in-orbit servicing, and asteroid protection means;
  • 6th International Conference “Space Technologies: Present and Future” was decided to be held in May 2017.

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