GENEVA (Sputnik) — A decision on the replacement of Ukrainian-made carrier rockets for space launches from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean could be made by April, the Sea Launch SA company said Wednesday.
The Sea Launch consortium has used Zenit-3SL carrier rockets, manufactured by Dnipropetrovsk-based Yuzhmash company, to put commercial payloads into orbit. However, Yuzhmash production capacity has been seriously affected by the current political and economic crisis in Ukraine.
"The [Zenit-3SL] replacement is being discussed, but no decisions have been made by the Board of Directors so far," Sea Launch Chief Executive Sergei Gugkaev said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
"We are hoping to come up with a decision in a month or two," Gugkaev said, adding that several replacement options are being considered, including Russian-made space rockets.