Space. The final frontier. These are the financial musings of Ukraine over whether to join the European Space Agency. To explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and civilisations. To boldly go where no Ukrainian has gone before.
No? Ok, let’s try this:
Clangers, froglitts, Soup Dragons?
Errrm OK. Maybe the aspirations, imagination and wondering of the night sky is not exactly going to be Star Trek in my lifetime, and the discovery of a Clanger or Froglitt would be incomprehensible, let alone a Vulcan, the Borg, or the appearance of a Vermicious Knid inside an elevator (with or without Willy Wonka).
Anyway, space is not exactly a new frontier as far as Ukraine is concerned. Even if we completely and utterly ignore its experience and expertise during the days of the USSR, in the last 20 years Ukraine has propelled into space in excess of 100 bits and pieces. In fact Ukraine accounts for approximately 13% of all global launches.
At the moment, amongst many space orientated things, it is heavily involved in a joint R&D programme with China, as well as closer neighbours east and west. In the scheme of all things Ukrainian, space is something it does rather well.
It seems therefore natural that Ukraine would be interested in joining the European Space Agency. It would also seem a fairly good idea from a European viewpoint to have a tried, tested and successful new entrant to the agency.
Thus, it seems, Ukraine is now looking at membership and more importantly given the condition of the State coffers, the membership fees, rather closely. One has to hope that when finances allow, Ukraine will decide to join the ESA. It seems like a prima facie win/win situation for all.