The economic sanctions and international isolation measures imposed on Russia —due to its military intervention in Ukraine— continue to generate reactions in the Russian space agency (Roscosmos). This Thursday, the head of the entity, Dmitri Rogozin, announced that they will stop supplying rocket engines to the United States.
“Today we have made the decision to cease deliveries of rocket motors produced by Energomash to the United States. Let me remind you that this supply has been quite intense since the mid-1990s,” Rogozin said in an interview on public television.
“In this situation, we cannot continue to supply the United States with our rocket engines, which are the best in the world. Let them fly with their brooms or whatever”, he pointed.
Rogozin was referring to the RD-180 engines, the main part for the Atlas-5 rocket, and the RD-181 engine, which is used by the first stage of the Antares rocket. Both rockets are used to carry cargo from the International Space Station (ISS) or important missions to different destinations in the solar system.
According to Energomash, since 1999 the US received a total of 116 RD-180 engines and 92 of them were used. Meanwhile, since 2015 they were supplied with 22 RD-181 engines, 16 of them were used.
Rogozin mentioned that they also suspend technical assistance for the engines that the United States already has.
Likewise, he announced that his organization will not cooperate with Germany in joint experiments on the ISS, where astronauts of various nationalities coexist, mainly from NASA (USA), ESA (Europe) and Roscosmos (Russia).
For its part, the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announced its decision to “terminate all collaboration activities with Russian institutions on current or planned projects.”
“There will be no new projects or initiatives with institutions in Russia. When necessary, DLR will enter into coordination with other national and international partners, ”he explained in the DLR in a statement.
International tensions came to the fore last week, immediately after Joe Biden’s announcement about the sanctions imposed on the nation ruled by Vladimir Putin. At that time, Rogozin’s reaction was to remind the US that the Russian engines are responsible for maintaining the stable orbit of the ISS, so it was not convenient for them to cut off relations in the space field.