US Senate panel budgets $100 mn for non-Russian rocket

May 23, 2014
This photo provided by NASA shows a Soyuz rocket launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on May 29, 2013

A Senate panel set aside $100 million Thursday to develop a US rocket engine as an alternative to Russian equipment currently used to launch military satellites into orbit.

Amid broader disputes with President Vladimir Putin over Kremlin aggression in neighboring Ukraine, US lawmakers have considered ways to break from Russian dependence, including blocking US firms from purchasing Russian-made engines and developing a new American-made engine.

"Mr Putin's Russia is giving us some problems," said Senator Bill Nelson, who flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986.

"So we put $100 million in the defense bill to develop a state-of-the-art rocket engine to make sure that we have assured access to space for our astronauts as well as our military space payloads."

The bill was easily approved by the Armed Services Committee and now goes to a vote in the full Senate.

The House of Representatives passed its own defense bill, which also contains provisions aimed at reducing dependence on Russian delivery systems.

The two bills would need to be reconciled before becoming law.

The Pentagon currently depends on Russian-made RD-180 to carry satellites into orbit. But US-Russia tensions threaten to spill into the space realm, where peaceful cooperation has ruled for decades.

Last month, amid high tensions over ex-Soviet Ukraine, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin lashed out at US sanctions aimed at high-tech exports to Russia, warning that the move could endanger American astronauts at the International Space Station.

Rogozin signaled Moscow could prohibit the US from using RD-180s to launch Pentagon satellites, a move experts said could ground the US Defense Department Atlas V rocket for two to three years.

The Senate plan envisions a new US engine built within five years, Nelson said.

The world's astronauts have relied on Russian rockets for transport to the orbiting outpost ever since the retirement of the US shuttle in 2011.

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User comments : 8

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_ilbud
3.3 / 5 (3) May 23, 2014
The US is an international disgrace.
KBK
4.8 / 5 (5) May 23, 2014
Elon Musk has all the functional modern rockets that exist in the world.

$100M thrown at rocket design, means that the corporations involved would eat that up during their first lunch. A wasteful bunch of government trough feeding pigs, if there ever was one.

Elon Musk showed that this is the norm -by producing superior low cost rockets/launches.

Elon has the rockets, they are of US design, and they are decades further ahead in their design than anyone else's rockets.

The groups tied the the government could not design a paper toilet roll for $100M, the past 60+ years of financial waste has shown that clearly - the Pentagon pays private corporations to do it, they don't do it themselves.

Again, it's already done, it is already functioning, it has a perfect flight history and it's called 'Space X'..

The senate plan is like retards spouting nonsense while they chew broken glass and lie to the public that it is food - while they sit beside tables full of real food.

It's insane.
Scottingham
not rated yet May 23, 2014
KBK said it all.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2014
The House of Representatives passed its own defense bill,

Defense bill? Instead of adding this to NASA budget they're going to bloat the military budget even more
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2014
Elon has the rockets, they are of US design, and they are decades further ahead in their design than anyone else's rockets.


Although they rely on a design that pre-dates the Apollo moon missions.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (2) May 23, 2014
ROFL ! Yet again, after NASA has been forced to do something 'on the cheap', it turn out to be the most expensive option by far...
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) May 23, 2014
Rocket design is as much art as science.
Combustion Instabilities in Propulsion Systems
http://ftp.rta.na...9-01.pdf
Lex Talonis
not rated yet May 25, 2014
Ahhhhh yesssss the fucking American politicians and military - who runs NASA, trot out more of their propaganda and cultural bullshit.

And the people running this site, never censor on the basis of honesty - lol - Oh I forgot, Americans kill for profit.

"Amid broader disputes with President Vladimir Putin over Kremlin aggression in neighboring Ukraine, US lawmakers have considered ways to break from Russian rocket dependence, including blocking US firms from purchasing Russian-made engines and developing a new American-made engine.

"Mr Putin's Russia is giving us some problems," said Senator Bill Nelson, who flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986.

"So we put $100 million in the defense bill to develop a state-of-the-art rocket engine to make sure that we have assured access to space for our astronauts as well as our military space payloads."

The bill was easily approved by the Armed Services Committee and now goes to a vote in the full Senate.