Ukraine’s proud space industry faces obliteration but country’s former space chief has hope for future

Ukraine has a mighty space industry whose Zenit rocket is Elon Musk’s favorite. But the country’s potential might soon lie in ruins together with its dreams as Russia continues its bloody siege. However, the country’s former space boss told that he still has hopes for the future and believes the underdog Ukraine could help fill Russia’s shoes in international collaborations. 

With 16,000 employees, the Ukrainian Space Agency nearly matches NASA’s size. A legacy institution from the Soviet era, the agency controls 20 state-run corporations centered in what Volodymyr Usov, its former chairman, calls Ukraine’s space cluster, a region between the cities of Dnipro, Kharkiv and Kyiv.