NASA has announced it is working diligently to end the reliance on Russian rocket engines after Russian politicians suggested Russia prevent any more deliveries of its RD-180 engines to the U.S., due to continued American sanctions on the Russian Federation.
Senator Sergei Ryabukhin said that Russia could limit the supply of missile power plants that are used by United Launch Alliance in the first stage of the Atlas V booster. So he commented on Moscow’s possible response to US plans to impose sanctions because of the “Fiddles” affair, reported Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.
At the same time, the director of the agency noted the special role of cooperation between Russia and the United States in space. He stressed that the dialogue between the countries in this sphere continues despite the general deterioration of relations. Brydenstein called this situation a unique opportunity for NASA and expressed the hope of maintaining partnership relations with Russia. In addition, he confirmed his soon meeting with the head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin, added RIA.
At the end of July, Energomash announced that it had signed a contract for the delivery of another six RD-180s in 2020.
The United States has developed a robust private space launch capability with companies such as SpaceX, the ULA consortium, and Orbital ATK.