Nelson: we have “major decisions” to make soon on launch issues

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) spoke on the Senate floor for more than 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon to discuss the current effect of the Ukraine crisis on US-Russia space relations, including comments by Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin on Tuesday regarding restrictions on the use of RD-180 engines and the life of the International Space […]

Final export control rule offers some tweaks, but no major changes

Lost in yesterday’s news from Russia was a major milestone for the commercial space industry: after more than a decade of effort, the State Department issued its interim final rule for the revised Category XV of the US Munitions List, which covers satellites and related components. Like the proposed Category XV list released nearly a […]

Russian official announces ban on military use of RD-180 engines (updated)

The saga of the use of the RD-180 engine in the United States took a new turn on Tuesday when Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin indicated that RD-180 engines exported to the US for use on the Atlas V could not be used for launches of military payloads. “Russia is ready to continue deliveries […]

Deciding whether, and how, to reproduce or replace the RD-180

In this week’s issue of The Space Review, I provide an overview of the current debate about the RD-180 engine, including a blow-by-blow of the injunction briefly in place that blocked payments to the engine’s manufacturer, NPO Energomash, as well as the provision in the House defense authorization bill that would start work on a […]

CJS spending bill passes full House appropriations committee

On Thursday, the full House Appropriations Committee marked up the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill that the CJS subcommittee approved last week. The full committee didn’t adopt any amendments that affected the NASA provisions in the bill, although Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced, then withdrew, an amendment to add $85.5 million to NASA’s […]

Industry warns of dangers of cutting FAA commercial space budget

Earlier this week the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee marked up its fiscal year 2015 spending bill. The bill includes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), including $16 million for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). That’s less than the $16.6 million requested […]

Court lifts RD-180 injunction

The US Court of Federal Claims issued an order today formally lifting the injunction on payments to and from NPO Energomash for RD-180 engines used by United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket. In the two-page order, Judge Susan Braden said her decision was based on the letters she received from the Departments of Commerce, State, […]

Hearing set for today on motion to lift RD-180 injunction

The US Court of Federal Claims has scheduled a hearing for 10 am Eastern this morning regarding the motion filed by the US government on Tuesday to lift the preliminary injunction blocking payments to Energomash, the Russian company that manufactures the RD-180 engines used on the Atlas V. In filings with the court Tuesday, government […]

CJS report offers more details on proposed NASA spending

In advance of Thursday morning’s markup of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill by the full House Appropriations Committee, the committee released the report accompanying the bill, which offers more details on the spending levels for NASA and other agencies in the bill. First, an updated version of the table comparing the President’s […]

Armed Services Committee to take up authorization bill with RD-180 and other provisions

Later this morning the House Armed Services Committee will mark up its draft fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funding for the Defense Department and contains various policy provisions.

One of the biggest space-related provisions, located in the Strategic Forces section, is to authorize work on a new liquid-propellant rocket engine […]