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May 13, 2014

Russia Embargoes Sale of Rocket Engines Used to Boost American Military Satellites Into Orbit

We've been relying on Russian rocketry for years now.

Perhaps we did so to keep their missile-men gainfully employed.

Here now the bill for that.

Russia is to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis.

Oh right I forgot that part: They're banning us from our own Space Station. Well, it's a joint operation, but apparently they own it now.

But that seems chiefly symbolic. I'm more worried about the fact that we depend on Russian rockets for putting satellites into orbit.

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of punitive measures on Tuesday against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea.

...

The US is keen to keep the $100 billion (£600) ISS flying until at least 2024, four years beyond its original target.

...

Moscow’s response would affect NK-33 and RD-180 engines which Russia supplies to the US, Mr Rogozin said. “We are ready to deliver these engines but on one condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites,” he said.

RD-180 engines are used to boost Atlas 5 rockets manufactured by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing that holds a virtual monopoly on launching U.S. military satellites.

Geopolitical foe, indeed!

The Obama Administration plans to respond with a strongly-worded #hashtag.

Thanks to @slublog.


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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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