NASA wants to maintain its unique cooperation with Russia to drag the astronauts into space and continue to use RD-180 engines, while the spacious agency’s administrator says we can develop sustainable alternatives.
“The United States really works hard to not be addicted to the RD-180 engine,” Jim Bridenstine said on C-Span.
The US Defense Armed Forces of the United States Armed Forces from 2018 limits the purchase of Russian rocket engines after 31 December 2022. But on Thursday, following the latest round of US sanctions, Russian lawyer Sergey warned Ryabukhin that Moscow could consider discontinuing RD-180 deliveries before this deadline.
When the United States introduced its first set of sanctions against Moscow, US legislators made ample space for space exploration, Bridenstine pointed out.
“The room was specifically cut out for us to continue collaborating on space issues”, said the administrator and noted that he is keen to meet the head of the Russian space organization (Roscosmos), currently blacklisted by government department. Earlier, Roscosmos said that General Director Dmitry Rogozin could hold talks with his counterpart in Baikonur, Kazakhstan in October.
“I think [meet Rogozin] in the near future,” Bridenstine said. “And we are working on how we maintain this relationship with the [sanctions] limitations and I’m very sure we’ll be able to investigate it.”
“NASA represents a stunningly soft power for the United States. When other communication channels break down, nations can still communicate on space exploration and space research and science,” the 43-year-old noted.
At the same time, Bridenstine said he is “confident” that Boeing, SpaceX and other US companies will ultimately produce viable and safe alternatives to the Russian engines. Previously, it was reported that ULA is likely to continue to use Russian-produced engines until 2024-2025 or even 2028.
Meanwhile, to speed up the process of breaking America’s full dependence on Russia’s crew program, NASA and Congress increased funding for commercial efforts, which would allow Boeing and SpaceX to launch astronauts in space from US soil. After NASA closed its 30-year space shuttle program in 2011, Russia and China are still the only two countries that can put a person in space.
A recent survey of Pew’s public opinion revealed that a large majority of Americans (72 percent) believe it is necessary for their homeland – once put men on the moon – to keep their place “dominance” and “continues to be world leader in space exploration”. An even greater number, 80 percent of Americans, believes that the International Space Station (ISS), which introduced modules of the Russian space station that Moscow could not afford at the time, has been a “good investment” ]] for his country.
But while SpaceX and Boeing rush to produce alternatives to the Russian engines and spacecraft to restore independent US access to space, only one third of Americans believe that private companies on their own “will ensure sufficient progress on This area, even without NASA’s commitment. “
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