Russia stops selling its RD-180 engines to NASA

16 May 2014 09:30
(QHA) -

In April, the US said it would suspend space cooperation with Russia because of its annexation of Crimea, with one exception — the International Space Station. Now, Russia is hitting back.

Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin announced Russia will end its space station cooperation in 2020, Guardian reports.

It will also stop selling its RD-180 engines to NASA, which are critical parts for the US Atlas V rockets that boost everything from Mars probes to spy satellites into orbit.

The move will hurt because it could take the US several years to develop a replacement. The Russian prohibition could help propel the rapidly-developing commercial space industry, which includes players like Space X.

Under the new restrictions, it is only rockets for military rather than civilian launches that would be disallowed. But in practice it will make it difficult for the US to import any of the engines because it will hard to prove the hardware is not destined for a military program.