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  Report: Russia considers halting RD-180 export

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Author Topic:   Report: Russia considers halting RD-180 export
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27593
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-27-2013 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Russia Today (RT) is reporting that Russia's Security Council is considering a ban on supplying the United States with RD-180 rocket engines.
A ban on the rockets supply to the US heavy booster, Atlas V, which delivers weighty military communications satellites and deep space exploration vehicles into orbit, could put a stop to NASA's space programs – not just military satellites.

An unnamed representative of Russia's Federal Space Agency told the Izvestia newspaper that the Security Council is reconsidering the role of Russia's space industry in the American space exploration program, particularly the 2012 contract on delivering to the US heavy-duty RD-180 rocket engines.

Previously, Moscow has not objected to the fact that America's Atlas V boosters rigged with Russian rocket engines deliver advanced space armament systems into orbit. If a ban if put in place, however, engine delivery to the US would probably stop altogether, starting from 2015.

Space industry analyst Jeff Foust put this report into some perspective:
Before people get too concerned about the RD-180 report, keep in mind that 1) it's just a report; 2) there's a stockpile of engines in [the] US; and 3) the IP is in place to build RD-180s in the US (the original 90s-era plan).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27593
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-30-2013 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space News has United Launch Alliance's response to the report:
United Launch Alliance (ULA) is confident that our major subcontractor RD Amross … will honor its commitment to supply RD-180 engines for our Atlas 5 launch vehicle. In the unlikely event that NPO Energomash is not allowed to export the engine, then ULA would continue to launch Atlas 5 vehicles for several years by drawing from the large inventory of RD-180 engines already stored in the U.S. ULA also produces the Delta 4 product that is built with the U.S.-produced RS-68 engine to assure uninterrupted access to space for all of our customers.

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