US to lack full space launch capability beyond 2019 without Russian engine

America continues to suicide itself out of existence any way it can, with space also being a frontier:

In January, the US Air Force awarded contracts to Orbital ATK and SpaceX to develop prototypes of US-built rocket engines to replace the RD-180.


Full US space launch capability may be delayed beyond 2019 if it cuts its supply of Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

“Industry tells us… [they can] make 2019 for an engine, but I must say an engine alone will not get us to space. It needs to be integrated with a rocket, it needs to be tested, it needs to be certified, and to get all of that done, to have a launch capability will be longer than 2019,” James said.

The United States currently relies on the Atlas V rocket powered by Russia’s RD-180 engine for its national defense space launches. In 2014, the Congress instituted a law requiring the Pentagon to cut its reliance on the RD-180 after the downturn in US-Russia relations.

Full article: US to lack full space launch capability beyond 2019 without Russian engine (Space Daily)

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