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Russian Space Firm to Scrap Rocket Deal With Ukraine

Update: S7 co-owner Natalia Filyova has denied reports that the company will cancel its contract with Ukraine's Yuzhmash, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday. She added that it was too early to discuss the issue.

Russia’s private S7 Space corporation plans to scrap a deal with a Ukrainian rocket maker on the construction of carrier rockets for its Sea Launch floating launch platform, Russian media reported.

S7, Russia’s largest private airline, promised to resurrect Sea Launch when it purchased the suspended project in 2016. Ukraine’s Yuzhmash manufacturer was to build 12 Zenit-M rockets for S7’s Sea Launch project under a contract signed in April 2017.

S7 Space “intends to” abort the deal with Yuzhmash, S7 co-owner Natalia Filyova told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.

“We don’t know yet” when the deal will be officially called off, Filyova was quoted as saying.

An unnamed space industry source told the state-run TASS news agency last week that Sea Launch projects will use Russia’s Soyuz-5 rockets. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Roscosmos federal space agency to begin flight tests of the Soyuz-5 medium-class carrier rockets in 2022.

S7 plans to renew launches from its Sea Launch floating platform this December.

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