Russia says NASA can use ‘brooms’ after rocket engine sales halt

The head of Russia’s space agency has suggested American astronauts use “broomsticks” to get into orbit after rocket engine supplies to the United States were halted.

Dmitry Rogozin, CEO of Roscosmos, made the remarks in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel, saying the move was a response to sanctions imposed by the United States after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

“In this situation, we can no longer supply the United States with our rocket engines which are the best in the world. Let them fly on something else, like their brushes, or whatever,” Rogozin said, according to the report. Interfax news agency. “But at least we’re freezing our shipments.”

According to the Roscosmos official, Russia has delivered 122 RD-180 engines to the United States since the 1990s, 98 of which were used to power Atlas launch vehicles.

Rogozin also told Rossiya-24 that Russia would stop working with Germany on joint experiments on the International Space Station because of the European country’s “unacceptable actions”, according to the TASS news agency.

His latest interview follows the announcement that Roscosmos is suspending cooperation with the European Space Agency on launches from the French Guiana spaceport, in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the European Union.

European Space Commissioner Thierry Breton downplayed the Russian decision, saying it would have no consequences for Galileo, ESA’s satellite navigation system, or Copernicus, its project Earth observation.

“We will take all relevant decisions in response to this decision in due course and will continue to resolutely develop the second generation of these two EU sovereign space infrastructures,” Breton said in a statement.

“We are ready to act decisively, with the Member States, to protect these critical infrastructures in the event of aggression, and to continue to develop Ariane 6 and VegaC to ensure Europe’s strategic autonomy in the field of launchers. “

In London, the UK government rejected an ultimatum from Russia to sell its stake in space internet service OneWeb to allow a satellite to be launched.

OneWeb is preparing to launch 36 satellites into low Earth orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz rocket.

Roscomos asked for assurances that the rocket would not be used for military purposes, before saying it would not allow the Russian cosmodrome to launch the satellites unless the UK sold its stake in OneWeb.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said no sale would take place. “There is no trading on OneWeb: the UK government is not selling its share,” he tweeted on March 2. “We are in contact with other shareholders to discuss next steps.”

Newsweek has contacted NASA for comment.

President Vladimir Putin (C) and Dmitry Rogozin (R) visit the Cosmos pavilion space industry exhibition in Moscow April 12, 2018. Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, says he will stop supplying rocket engines in the United States
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


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