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Russian official announces space-related sanctions regarding ISS, RD-180
Posted: Wed, May 14, 2014, 7:23 AM ET (1123 GMT)
A top Russian official announced Tuesday that his government was taking several space-related measures in response to American sanctions, although it was not immediately clear how some of them would be implemented. Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a press conference Tuesday that Russia would ban the use of RD-180 engines to launch American military spacecraft. The RD-180 engine powers the first stage of the Atlas 5, which launches civil and military spacecraft; it was not clear how Russia would enforce that policy short of banning the export of all RD-180 engines. Rogozin said the Russia would not agree to extend the life of the ISS beyond 2020, and would consider detaching its modules from the station to form its own facility. However, the ISS partner nations had yet to agree to an American proposal to extend the ISS's life to at least 2024, and NASA officials said they didn't expect the partners to formally agree to any extension for some time. Both NASA and United Launch Alliance, who manufactures the RD-180, said they have not yet been notified of any policy changes or restrictions by the Russian government. The Russian announcement is seen as a counter to American sanctions on Russian firms and officials, including Rogozin.
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