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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 12, 1995


The U.S. and Ukraine are continuing to pursue a broad range of cooperative activites in space. These include joint projects between NASA and the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU) as part of our civil space cooperation. These also include commerical space launch cooperation.

In the area of civil space, NASA and NSAU have identified a Ukrainian payload for flight on Shuttle Mission STS-87, now scheduled for October 1997, involving experiments on the effects of microgravity. NASA and NSAU are also working to identify the Ukrainian Payload Specialist who will fly on this mission.

In addition, NASA and the Paton Welding Institute in Kiev are working on a project for flight demonstration of the Ukrainian universal hand tool. This electron beam welding tool will be tested on a shuttle mission for performing emergency repairs for the interational space station.

Pursuant to a commitment by Presidents Clinton and Kuchma in November 1994 to "work together to open prospects for Ukrainian access to international aerospace markets," the U.S. and Ukraine have also held a first round of discussions on a commercial space launch agreement. In keeping with our common nonproliferation agenda, these negotiations are being conducted against the background of implementation of the May 1994 U.S.-Ukrainian Memorandum of Understanding on controlling missile technology.

The U.S. expects that the commercial space launch agreement will provide Ukraine access to both the geosynchronous/geostationary orbit (GEO) and the low-earth orbit (LEO) markets. As we proceed on this, commercial considerations similar to those reflected in our other commercial space launch agreements will have to be addressed.