Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said U.S. national security launches will not be affected by Russia’s decision to stop supplying rocket engines to the United States.
With no domestic demand for Energomash’s premier products — the RD-180 and RD-181 engines — the company faces a potentially daunting gap.
Let’s set the record straight on Russian rocket engines and next-generation American launch vehicles.
ASRC of Beltsville, Md., has test fired a subscale propellant injector built via additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, paving the way for a version that will be able to support whichever engine United Launch Alliance chooses to replace the Russian-built RD-180 on the Atlas 5 rocket.
Senators overwhelmingly passed an amendment to an Iran-Russia sanctions bill June 15 to fix language some argued could have prevented NASA and others from launching missions on rockets that use Russian engines.
“Everybody agrees on the long term,” said William LaPlante, former Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition. But getting to those goals is the hard part.
In a letter, the representatives said the service should not provide funding for ULA's development of Vulcan unless it has "full access, oversight of, and approval rights over decision-making."
The U.S. Senate approved a compromise June 14 that would give United Launch Alliance access to as many as 18 Russian RD-180 rocket engines to compete against SpaceX through 2022 for national security launch contracts.
Senators took to their chamber’s floor June 9 to discuss when United Launch Alliance should stop using Russian RD-180 rocket engines to launch national security satellites.