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Russia Bans U.S. From International Space Station: America Strikes Back
The Motley Fool ^ | 22JUN2014 | Rich Smith

Posted on 06/22/2014 5:56:42 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it's an International Space Station. But if Russia gets its way, it's going to be off-limits to the United States soon.

For weeks now, there have been rumblings about Russia wanting to ban the United States from using the ISS while the two countries wrangled over Ukraine. While that would probably violate international law, it may be feasible from a practical perspective. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin argued that "the Russian segment [of the ISS] can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one cannot."

Since the United States terminated its space shuttle program, we've depended on Russian rockets to carry U.S. astronauts to the ISS. NASA has a contract to continue these flights through 2016 -- at $70 million a pop. After that, Russia would be within its rights to deny U.S. astronauts seats on Soyuz rockets. If America wants to send astronauts up after the contract expires, joked Rogozin: "I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline."

It never just rains, it pours (even in space) An even more immediate problem facing America is Russia's threat to cut off access to the RD-180 rocket engines that the United Launch Alliance (the joint venture between Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) ) uses in its Atlas V rockets. These are the big beasts that carry U.S. military satellites into space. They're critical to national security. But we've only got enough RD-180s stockpiled to keep ULA supplied for about another 22 months.

What's to be done? Just two weeks ago, we told you about U.S. Air Force plans to set up a public-private partnership to develop a new rocket engine capable of replacing the RD-180. In an uncharacteristic exhibition of rapid problem-tackling, ULA is already rushing to get the project under way.

On Monday, ULA confirmed that it has signed contracts with "multiple" American rocket companies to begin working up "next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage propulsion concepts" that could replace the RD-180 (the RD-180 uses liquid oxygen and kerosene as its fuel sources).

Working at a breakneck pace, ULA said it expects to select a new design before the end of this year. Then, pushing the envelope on the usual five- to eight-year timeline usually needed to develop such engines, ULA said it will have a new rocket ready to fly by 2019. (In the meantime, ULA will try to string Russia's Energomash along, negotiating to keep the RD-180s coming until they're no longer needed.)

What does it mean to investors? It's hard to overestimate how important this news is to investors. Development of a new rocket engine, and probably a new launch vehicle to carry it, could bring the ULA contract's winner billions of dollars in development work alone -- followed by more billions in revenue as dozens of the new engines are put to work in years to come.

While ULA has not yet revealed the names of the companies that it has signed contracts with, the likely contenders remain Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK ) and Orbital Sciences (NYSE: ORB ) -- soon to team up in a new entity to be known as Orbital ATK -- and also GenCorp (NYSE: GY ) , which is now home to the rocket science juggernaut Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Of the two, I believe GenCorp must be considered the front-runner. The company has already invested $300 million in developing a new liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket engine called the AR-1, that when finished could lift rockets as big as what Russia's RD-180 lifts. What's more, GenCorp says it is only four years away from completing the engine -- giving it perhaps a one-year head start over its rivals, and raising the possibility that ULA could get this work done by 2018.

As an added bonus, GenCorp says that a pair of its AR-1 engines could cost as little as $25 million total -- or even as little as $20 million -- making them cheaper than the Russian rocket engine they'd replace.

Your Foolish takeaway Cheaper rockets, delivered ahead of schedule, and not dependent on a hostile foreign government to supply them? That sounds like a winning combination for GenCorp.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: ban; iss; russia; spacestation

1 posted on 06/22/2014 5:56:42 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
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To: Jack Hydrazine

2 posted on 06/22/2014 5:58:25 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBsdV--kLoQ)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Russia can’t ban us from the Station, but they don’t have to give our astronauts a ride. Thank you Obama, for this outrage.


3 posted on 06/22/2014 6:00:00 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Hussein Obama—
idiot child or saboteur?
Answer:
Both!


4 posted on 06/22/2014 6:03:30 PM PDT by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: SuziQ

Thanks for all the fish, 0bama - ya B@stard!

5 posted on 06/22/2014 6:05:38 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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Putin not crazy about Muslims in space.


6 posted on 06/22/2014 6:08:46 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
That's if SpaceX doesn't get there first. SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket could become the USA's primary means to launch heavy payloads into orbit.
7 posted on 06/22/2014 6:10:27 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: SuziQ

Sounds a whole lot like one of those “blessings in disguise”, regardless of what the halfrican intended. America has always worked best when butt is in a crack.


8 posted on 06/22/2014 6:12:25 PM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

9 posted on 06/22/2014 6:17:29 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: SuziQ

Zer0 find a way to blame this stupid decision on Bush yet?

This one has to rank right up there with the worst decision ever made by a sitting president.

But he’s not done yet


10 posted on 06/22/2014 6:19:07 PM PDT by reefdiver (Be the Best you can be Whatever you Dream to be)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Russia can hashtag the US, that will work.

The USA has become a fricking joke because of bath house Barry. And we all deserve it.


11 posted on 06/22/2014 6:19:41 PM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: Jack Hydrazine


12 posted on 06/22/2014 6:20:26 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

They can have it, along with all the support costs. It’s the biggest, most expensive boondoggle in the history of science.


13 posted on 06/22/2014 6:20:47 PM PDT by BigBobber (`)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Never saw this coming.

(sheesh)


14 posted on 06/22/2014 6:31:21 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: BigBobber

May be a boondoggle, but is sure is fun to watch coming overhead. To get the time table in your location, google “Spot the Station”.


15 posted on 06/22/2014 6:33:44 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: SuziQ
Well, we'll just have NASA give them a ride...Oh wait...never mind.

Their primary mission is boosting the self esteem of mohammadens and they don't have anything to ride in anyway.

Maybe we could call the secretary of the Air Force.

Oh wait. He said his top priority was making homos comfortable in the AF so that's out.

16 posted on 06/22/2014 6:36:19 PM PDT by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux. If not now, when? If not here, where?)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Good

We can concentrate on our own space programs and stop subsidizing the Russian Space and Ballistic Missile programs


17 posted on 06/22/2014 6:39:33 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Thank you, Obama for cutting NASA...(and congress, too)


18 posted on 06/22/2014 6:55:27 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: ClearCase_guy

If anything General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin both licensed to build RD-180.
The only problem a Russian one cost about ten million a piece and American is around forty million.


19 posted on 06/22/2014 6:55:45 PM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Model Rockets

How many model rocket engines would it take to launch a real rocket into space?

Answer: About 65,000, give or take a few.

https://what-if.xkcd.com/24/


20 posted on 06/22/2014 6:56:52 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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To: Jack Hydrazine

This is interesting:

Up Goer Five

https://xkcd.com/1133/


21 posted on 06/22/2014 6:58:44 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Gene Eric
Putin not crazy about Muslims in space.

Probably, not crazy about fags either, and, that has to be high on OdumBO's list.

23 posted on 06/22/2014 7:12:20 PM PDT by depressed in 06 (America conceived in liberty, dies in slavery.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this was going to happen.


24 posted on 06/22/2014 7:28:06 PM PDT by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Give a contract to the Chicoms!

They know how to de-engineer a machine, and make knock-off dups, in a tenth of the time that it would take us to turn the first wrench!

Maybe we could call on Bubba Clintoon to grease some palms!


25 posted on 06/22/2014 7:44:41 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: Gene Eric
Putin not crazy about Muslims in space.

Nonsense.

Putin has put two Muslim astronauts into space, Talgat Musabayev and Salizhan Sharipov.

26 posted on 06/22/2014 7:49:33 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Jack Hydrazine

27 posted on 06/22/2014 7:56:19 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker
NASA has become a joke.

The best space program we have now is the Kerbal Space Program.


28 posted on 06/22/2014 7:58:29 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL
The best space program we have now is the Kerbal Space Program.

Nay my good man - cast thine eyes upon our glorious capitalist future!


29 posted on 06/22/2014 8:05:26 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

There is also Scaled Composites and Sierra Nevada


30 posted on 06/22/2014 8:06:06 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Talisker
I think Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser is pretty cool. Target launch date: 2017


31 posted on 06/22/2014 8:07:34 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

Yep. Competition for lower costs, better safety, and in-flight movies!


32 posted on 06/22/2014 8:08:12 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

bump


33 posted on 06/22/2014 8:08:40 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Eagles6

Re: post #16

It is an absolute outrage of what we have become.


34 posted on 06/22/2014 9:02:36 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: GeronL

Landing speed must be sa-mokin’ on that sumbich.


35 posted on 06/22/2014 9:24:42 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (June IS "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Parachutes probably .... they broke the front landing gear during a drop test, live and learn


36 posted on 06/22/2014 9:32:53 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Meanwhile we let China overtake nations and put all our eggs in that nutty basket case.


37 posted on 06/22/2014 9:34:22 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: dennisw

The world is shrinking in terms of allies and reliable partners. America is becoming a banana republic. Hillaries, Jellens and Barshevsky type whores is not going to help the cause of the independent man.


38 posted on 06/22/2014 9:36:01 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: GeronL

I wonder why they couldn’t develop a huge para-sail, an inflatable wing, that would let them slowly glide it in at a reasonable speed.


39 posted on 06/22/2014 9:37:04 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (June IS "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: MichaelCorleone

What is even more troubling is that the Republicans have the power to stop this but they won’t.


40 posted on 06/22/2014 9:44:09 PM PDT by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux. If not now, when? If not here, where? ?)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

That would be a good idea. One was already developed for a CRV (Crew Return Vehicle) but the CRV was cancelled.


41 posted on 06/22/2014 9:48:39 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SuziQ
Thank you Obama, for this outrage.

Something else that’s going on is that while the president proposes NASA budget cuts and the House approves all NASA requests, the press and NASA employees blame the cuts on congress. Sure, we’ll eventually muddle through this, but in the mean time we need to keep a better grip on reality.

42 posted on 06/23/2014 4:21:57 AM PDT by expat_panama
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