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Russia Snips Ties with U.S. and European Space Projects

Russia Snips Ties with U.S. and European Space Projects

It is a good thing that President Donald Trump nurtured the public-private collaboration on space ventures, which gives our country options.

The international divorce between Russia and the West is getting more hostile each day.

Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and McDonalds officially removed themselves from the Russian market.

And while Russians may miss Happy Meals and lattes, US and European space projects may be taking a hit soon.

…[T]he Russians have terminated commercial Soyuz launch operations at the European Space Agency’s launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, and cut-off sales and support for Russian rocket engines used in U.S. rockets.

“In a situation like this we can’t supply the United States with our world’s best rocket engines,” Reuters quoted Dmitri Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, as saying. “Let them fly on something else, their broomsticks, I don’t know what.”

SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted that quote on Twitter under the title “American Broomstick,” reminding Rogozin that SpaceX has the capability to launch equipment and astronauts to the station from U.S. soil aboard American rockets.

However, this dance goes both ways. OneWeb, a British satellite maker, canceled launches reliant on Russia.

OneWeb, a satellite internet company partly owned by the British government, has canceled an upcoming satellite launch using a Russian rocket and suspended all future launches that relied on Russia, the company announced on Thursday after a tense public standoff with Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency.

Also on Thursday, Roscosmos announced it would stop selling rocket engines to American companies.

The moves, both fallout from Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, stand to further isolate the Russian space agency from its Western space partners, and limit Russia’s private space activities dramatically. OneWeb’s loss of a reliable rocket provider for launches also poses novel challenges for the company as it had aimed to complete its constellation of 648 satellites in orbit later this year.

OneWeb was rescued from bankruptcy in 2020 by the British government and other investors. It was scheduled to launch 36 satellites aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan on Friday. The company has sent roughly 400 satellites to orbit since 2019, every time using Soyuz, a workhorse rocket that’s been active since the days of the Cold War space race.

In the near-term, the impacts will be minor. US-based United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) has already taken possession of a current order of rockets as well as using Blue Origin systems.

ULA, a private space transport company, is in the process of abandoning its line of Atlas rockets in favor of a new line of rockets, called Vulcan, that will use engines made by Jeff Bezos’ US-based rocket company Blue Origin. It’s not clear when that rocket will be ready to fly.

It is a good thing that President Donald Trump nurtured the public-private collaboration on space ventures, which gives our country options such as SpaceX. and Blue Origin.


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“Russia snips ties…”

What ties? Biden already cut everything that’s possible to cut, snip, pull apart or outright ruin.


Before Biden ever thought about hurting Russia, he did everything in his power to destroy this country. Now he blames Putin for it. “It’s Putin’s fault.” Everything’s Putin’s fault. Biden just gave his state of the union speech a few days ago and everything was fine then. America was the best shape it’s ever been in until Putin ruined it.

The United Launch Alliance had already announced they would quit purchasing the Russian rocket engines. And, NASA had already announced they were transferring missions to the ISS from Russia to SpaceX which was reducing costs from $90 million per seat down to $63 million per seat.

Hmmm. Things could get awkward on the ISS!

    A couple of days ago, NASA announced abandoning the ISS. Better to eat the sunk costs that throw away even more money on the very high operating and maintenance costs. Every ISS launch cost $1B whereas the SpaceX alternative is only $200m and is recyclable among many other advantages. Good thing Musk has Bill Nelson on his side because otherwise Brandon would probably have him arrested.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to NavyMustang. | March 11, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Time to remove any Russia specific docking capabilities. When will our space force be in position to test dropping large rocks on specific targets? That would be the perfect way to to create a DMZ between Russia and the Ukraine, all of the DMZ on Russia’s side of the line..

    And, is it possible make Putin’s head ground zero for one small rock?

Another wrinkle in this is Brandon’s non-stop attack on Musk’s projects and it’s not just Tesla projects. SpaceX’s Texas launching facilities have suspended launches until they complete their review their original environmental impact clearance on the entire project (think snail darter).

And in CA, Governor Hair Gel has allowed the electric utilities (aka wild fire arsons) to rework the home solar contracts, lease, fees and permitting to favor those companies. That is why solar, wind or any form of energy will never work in CA. The crooked utilities are just like the the teachers unions and UAW. They control their fiefdoms for their own benefit as they pay off the politicians.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 11, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Utilities have been ripping off consumers for a long time by taking their peak demand solar power in exchange of low value off peak power.

    Consumers would be better off selling their peal power to neighbors, charging their cars(yes, a car battery is also a good power backup source). if nothing else, excess power can dumped into a hot water loop buried under a house. If it is summer, use excess power to chill water in an insulate d enclosure, then use that water to air condition the house when the sun is not shining.

    The point is that they are ways to store large amounts of power other than batteries.

    Solar power is viable and cost effective now.

      That is why I’ve been talking about getting rid of the long-distance power grid. Power needs to be local, especially if we are going solar in a big way. An analyst at my old haunting grounds Smith Barney performed a brilliant study on this subject back around 2000. It would have abolished the electric utilities over time while making grids mostly local. Naturally, it went nowhere. No good idea gets off the launching pad when it comes to the utility companies and anything unionized.

      “The point is that they are ways to store large amounts of power other than batteries.”

      No, there isn’t. Not at the household level.

      What would the cost be of a “hot water loop” that contains enough hot water to store 20-30Kw? How long will the storage last?

      You don’t have any idea.

Good! We should never rely upon enemies for anything.
Keep the commies out of the space station.

Just as a reminder, Americans have walked on the moon. Only Americans have walked on the moon. And we did it half a century ago.

    Sorry, that history has been re-written. Only WHITE MALES walked on the moon destroying the lunar environment and exterminating the native population.

    Peabody in reply to Barry. | March 11, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    We did a lot of things 50 years ago that we can’t do today.

    And 50 years from now people will look back and wonder why we let all those foreigners come in and take over our country, our culture and our way of life.

    Virginia42 in reply to Barry. | March 11, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    That’s what happens when NASA focuses on “Muslim Outreach” instead of designing successor vehicles to the space shuttle.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Virginia42. | March 11, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      Michigan has become a major Muslim area, I am leaving, and support all Muslims in American migrating to Michigan. That will facilitate remedial action when it is needed, there is no doubt that such will eventually be necessary. Just look at what is happening in Europe.

About time we bagged this “joint venture”. Relying on Russian ’60’s rockets made no sense to me. We should have kept our own ’60’s stuff going longer (i.e. Space Shuttle)
Good riddance.

    I’m going to be the annoying voice of common sense here. The reason the US relied on Russian rocket engines (See above for ULA) and Russian launches to the International Space Station is because NASA is possibly the most inefficient and ineffective ways of getting to orbit, even WORSE than the Russians. Remember two Space Shuttles lost with all crewmembers, and decades worth of time when Russia was the only way for anybody to get to space? Or the current monstrosity of the NASA launch system, billions over budget and years behind schedule? Russia had a human flight system that worked, brute force stupid and overengineered, but *worked* where we had squat. The Shuttle should have been replaced within ten years of its first flight, and that system replaced within ten years, and that system…

    Darnit, I want us to be on the moon with colonies and solar power sats now.

      Colonel Travis in reply to georgfelis. | March 11, 2022 at 1:56 pm

      Agree. I have an affinity for NASA for personal reasons I won’t get into. But it is a bloated mess. I’d go down to Boca Chica often, before Elon Musk moved in, and then I watched him build the launchpad and buildings and I can’t believe it’s changed into that. It’s so weird seeing a Buck Rogers-like rocket ship down there now. But I wish him well. I have my criticisms of him, but we need people like that to help us innovate.

      Exactly. NASA has long been the biggest roadblock to real human space exploration and settlement. Although the EPA would like to be.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to georgfelis. | March 11, 2022 at 4:35 pm

      When I was in high school I designed and built my own rocket, the engine was a zinc-sulfur solid propellent 2″ seamless x 4′ tube. I still have the spare machined nozzle as a paper weight. I designed and built my own telemetry package. It flew about 20 miles out into lake Michigan.

      I entered college with the intention of working for NASA.

      Then there was a huge cutback at NASA, with PhD’s out pumping gas.

      I then started my 1st business, yet I still believe that humanity needs to expand beyond earth.

      From my prospective today. about 50 years later, NASA’s problem is too many useless bureaucrats.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to GL. | March 11, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    The Space Shuttle was crippled by stupid politicians. It should not have had solid propellent boosters which could not be shut down.

    Humanity really shines when conquering new horizons.

    I have repeatedly heard minorities argue that money like this should be used to give them more unearned freebie’s, in my view, most of those freebie’s should be reallocated to things like space exploration. Asa it stands now, all welfare has accomplished is producing more parasites. It is time for what our military used to represent, yes sir, no F-ing excuse sir.

healthguyfsu | March 11, 2022 at 9:13 pm

Can’t run rockets on solar and wind.

Wonder if Biden knows that.