The House Armed Services Committee is set to take up an authorization bill this week that would insist the Pentagon invest in a new main stage engine — not an upper stage engine, strap-on motors or launch vehicles as the Air Force has planned — as the cornerstone of its effort to wean itself from the Russian RD-180 rocket engine.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Julie Van Kleeck pitched the AR1 rocket engine to a roomful of reporters Tuesday morning as the only direct replacement for the reliable but politically polarizing Russian engine that powers the Atlas 5 rocket.
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is asking the Defense Department to investigate comments made earlier this week by a now-former United Launch Alliance executive.
A key U.S. House member said Feb. 24 that the Air Force’s plan to invest more than $1 billion in a new rocket would violate the 2015 defense authorization law and that instead, the service should place a higher priority on developing a new rocket engine.
Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, spoke to the Washington Space Business Roundtable Feb. 23, offering insight into how the U.S. Defense Department is approaching some of the military space community’s long-standing concerns.
The Pentagon’s acquisition chief said Feb. 23 that a preliminary opinion from the Treasury Department means the use of Russian rocket engines on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket does not violate U.S sanctions.
A high-ranking Air Force official said the service would stop launching national security satellites aboard United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket, if the Treasury Department finds the rocket’s Russian engine violates U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. Air Force is considering the early termination of United Launch Alliance’s $800-million-a-year launch capability contract after the company failed to bid on the service’s first competitive launch contract in a decade.
Wednesday's briefing begins with Sen. John McCain joining forces with the House majority leader to try to reinstate a ban on the Russian-built RD-180 engine.
The U.S. Senate Armed Services committee will hold a hearing Jan. 27 on military space programs and the use of Russian rocket engines.
The U.S. Air Force said Jan. 13 it has chosen to invest up to $241 million in rocket propulsion systems Orbital ATK and SpaceX pitched as a way to end Air Force dependence the Russian-built rocket engine it uses to launch most U.S. national security payloads.
The service awards $3.1 million to Orbital ATK, $6 million to Aerojet Rocketdyne and $5.4 million to Northrop Grumman.
It’s not easy to contradict Congress, but its legislation to bar the use of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine from launching U.S. security payloads is truly a classic example of shooting oneself in the foot.
Is there no other way to make our point, while preserving access to Russian RD-180 engines?