U.S. to Remain Dependent on Russian Rocket Engines for Years Despite Billions Poured Into Domestic Alternatives

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched / Getty Images

 

Industry officials say military won’t move fully to American-built engines until at least 2024

The Pentagon will remain dependent on Russian rocket engines to launch military satellites into space through at least the mid-2020s, despite the U.S. government allocating billions of dollars to defense contractors to produce an American-made replacement.

The projection adds several years to initial targets laid out in 2014 by lawmakers and senior Air Force officials, who ordered the United States begin phasing out Russia’s RD-180 engines amid national security concerns spurred by the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. Continue reading

‘Everybody out of the pool’: Trump orders all Obama diplomats home on Day 1

President-elect Donald Trump wants all appointments made as a result of political donations to end ‘on schedule.’ / Reuters

 

President-elect Donald Trump has ordered every Obama-appointed diplomat home in the days following his inauguration. Most got their posts after generous political donations.

Past administrations allowed diplomats an extension until a replacement could be found, but the State Department notified all diplomats of a break from that tradition on Dec. 23. Continue reading