Ukraine saves Musk’s Martian dream


SpaceX, a private company has successfully launched a new heavy rocket at a fraction of a cost of other similar systems. Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful rocket in operation. Its successful launch is an important step towards the goal of sending humans to Mars. Sending large payloads to Mars has been an unresolved challenge so far, but this is exactly the task Falcon Heavy may solve. Its dramatically reduced cost, high payload to overall weight ratio and reusability of parts are the features that draw a path to a mass-production rocket for Martian deliveries.

Not everyone knows, however, about the crucial role played by a Ukrainian company in its launch. Even though Elon Musk started preparation for the Falcon Heavy launch 7 years ago, only in early January it became apparent that timely transportation of the rocket fairing to Cape Canaveral is the task no one could handle, except for Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines.

Future Mars colonists playing with children on Mars, a place they call home.

Read more: Nobel Peace Prize and nuclear disarmament: the world must help Ukraine first

UkraineIS Chairman Sergiy Vakarin offered a reconstruction of communications that happened between the announcement by Musk in June last year and the successful launch in February. Not all details can be disclosed.

June 2017

Elon Musk: All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that.

Media: Wow! The humanity’s Martian dream comes closer!


August 2017

Musk: All cores fine?

SpaceX Vice-President: All here or coming soon. I’ll doublecheck. – Have you got all cores?

Logistics manager: All under control!


October 2017

Vice-President: Remember we need the fairing?

Logistics manager: Yes, it’s coming in December.


December 2017

Logistics manager: The fairing halves are too big for airlift!

Vice-President: What? Will they safely arrive on time as you guaranteed?

Logistics manager: Well, in fact there is one company that could do it. Antonov. They are from Ukraine …

Vice-President: Ukraine? Well… Elon likes them… But wait, I’ll call our PR director.  – I’ve got news: Ukrainians will transport a rocket part for us.

PR Director: And you are telling me that only now? They are at war!

Vice-President: I know. But their Ruslan aircraft are unique and we need them!

PR Director: Well, can we at least make it low profile?

Vice-President: We will. – OK – go ahead with Ukrainians but include a confidentiality clause!

Logistics manager: Call it done!


January 2017

Manager: We’ve sent you our cargo details. Can you transport it?

Ukraine’s Representative: No problem. And you know the cost of our services.

Manager: Perfect! One thing about the contract – we’d like to add a strict confidentiality clause.

Representative: Okay, but then it will be twice as much. You leave us without the best advertising in the world!

Manager: Well, let me call our CFO. – Ukrainians require double payment for confidentiality!

Financial Director: Yes, go ahead before they raise it again! Elon says, do it NOW!


Musk: So have you got all cores?

Vice-President: All delivered. I’ll doublecheck. – Have Ukrainians delivered the fairing?

Manager: All OK!


February 2018

Musk: We’ve done it!!!

Media: Wow! The humanity’s Martian dream comes closer!

Antonov Airlines: Sorry, we cannot comment. Maybe our Embassy can 🙂

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