by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 21, 2016
The United States should use the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine to launch national security payloads into space because it is the most cost-effective alternative, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in congressional testimony on Thursday.
"We have to have a way to launch our national security payloads into space," Carter stated. "One way to do that... is to continue to use the Atlas booster, including a limited but continuing number of RD-180 engines, notwithstanding the fact we don't like the fact that they're made in Russia."
The Department of Defense is recommending this approach because replacing the RD-180 rocket engine would give it a bill of one billion dollars or more.
In 2014, US Congress passed a law demanding the United States phase out its reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines.
However, in the two years after implementing a purchasing ban on the RD-180 engines, Congress has been forced to lift that ban to ensure the United States access to space.
Source: Sputnik News
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