Ukraine’s famed space sector is teetering on the brink, and Russian missiles aren’t the main cause | Space


On Aug.1, Northrop Grumman’s sleek Antares rocket rose from the rural wetlands of eastern Virginia, propelling into orbit a cargo spacecraft headed to the International Space Station. The launch was smooth, faultless. The rocket’s first stage, assembled in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, separated about three and a half minutes after liftoff and fell into the choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean as planned.

The launch success was likely bittersweet for the Ukrainian engineers who built that stage . That’s because the flight was the last for this type of Antares, the 230 series, which contained Ukraine-made components, as well as engines made in Russia.

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