Enlarge / An Atlas V rocket lifts off in 2016, powered by a single RD-180 engine and solid rocket boosters. (credit: United Launch Alliance)
According to Russian publications, the Russia-based rocket propulsion company Energomash has signed a deal to sell six more RD-180 rocket engines to United Launch Alliance in 2020. These six engines will allow for six additional flights of the Atlas V rocket, which flies national security payloads and science missions for the US government. Soon, the rocket will also fly Boeing’s crewed Starliner spacecraft into orbit.
NASA has understandably made a big deal out of its commercial crew program through which it is paying Boeing and SpaceX to develop spacecraft that will allow astronauts to launch to the International Space Station from Florida. Since the 2011 retirement of the space shuttle, NASA has gotten its people into space aboard Russian rockets launching from Kazakhstan.
Seizing upon this announcement, the Russian embassy in Washington, DC, evidently felt the need to troll United Launch Alliance, the US military, and NASA on Twitter, saying, “Russian rocket engines to continue launching America into space.”
Source: FS – All – Science – News
Russian embassy trolls US launch industry after new rocket engine sale