With its considerable space technology experience and expertise gained during the USSR years, Ukraine views the development of a multi-purpose national space program as a logical move and consistent with its military conversion policies. Early on the National Space Agency of Ukraine set telecommunications and remote sensing as its initial objectives. While Ukraine already possessed considerable experience in the latter, e.g., via the USSR Okean program, communications satellites had previously been a primarily Russian endeavor.
An early concept by the Ukrainian-Russian company Ariadne envisioned establishing a LEO constellation of small communications satellites which could be launched by Ukraine's Tsyklon booster. Later, government emphasis switched to a GEO communications system which might rely on foreign assistance to develop the spacecraft and which could be launched by the Zenit-3 currently under development. As late as December, 1993, the National Space Agency hoped to launch two, "television and communications" spacecraft manufactured by the Yuzhnoye design bureau by the year 2000. The 1.2-metric-ton spacecraft would be able to service Ku-band needs. However, by early 1994, Ukraine had reached an agreement with Matra Marconi (after more than a year of discussions) to provide a communications spacecraft to Ukraine for launch in 1997 under the Lebid program. Ukraine has also applied to the ITU for a GEO position of 64.5 degrees E to support X-band communications (References 407-414).
407. Ukrainian Radio, 25 September 1992 and 10 February 1994.
408. "Ukrainians Sign Space Agreement With Matra Marconi", Space News, 22-28 February 1993, p. 13.
409. Urayadovyy Kuryer, 3 April 1993, pp. 1, 5.
410. T. Pirard, "Ukraine's Space Programmer", Spaceflight, November 1993, p. 370.
411. "Ukraine Getting Its Feet Wet In Global Space Markets", Space FAX Daily, 8 November 1993, p. 1.
412. Narodnaya Armiya, 15 December 1993, p. 3.
413. Interfax News Agency, 24 October 1994.
414. "Ukraine Develops Own Programmer", Spaceflight, October 1994, p. 331.