Ukraine Space Agency calls the Vega-C failure investigation findings ‘premature’

Friday, Arianespace released its findings from its independent review commission’s investigation into December’s Vega-C failure, blaming a Ukrainian supplier. Now, it looks like Ukraine disagrees with the commission’s findings.

Ukraine Space Agency rebukes the blame

In a statement, the Ukrainian State Space Agency claimed that the commission seated by Arianespace and European Space Agency officials released its finding prematurely. The results blamed a Carbon-Carbon insert found inside Vega-C’s second-stage engine bell. According to the commission, the Carbon-Carbon was found to have errors in its makeup of materials, failing standards for the launch.

According to Ukraine, its experts that took part in the investigation did not see the same conclusion, and all materials supplied by manufacturers were in compliance. The agency also stated it was only informed about the decision by the media. Nevertheless, Ukraine calls on Arianespace and the ESA to continue investigating the Vega-C launch failure.

On the contrary, Arianespace said in its statement that the Ukrainian company has already begun work to replace the Carbon-Carbon insert. So now the question is, who’s right?

Ukraine’s long spaceflight history

Ukraine might not be the first nation you think of to have a thriving space industry. First, it’s never really mentioned by companies that use its exports, and the country is currently fighting off an invasion from Russia.

However, Ukraine has been home to a well-respected space industry dating back to when it was a part of the Soviet Union. From developing engines to building tanks and boosters, Ukraine has its hands in many places regarding rockets.

The first stage booster of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket was being built by a Ukrainian company in Dnipro, which was reported damaged by Russian missile strikes early in the invasion. Currently, Northrop is working with Firefly for a new first-stage booster to replace it, as it has lost the booster source and source of engines from Russia.

While put very politely by Ukraine, this developing disagreement will be interesting to watch if anything comes of it.

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