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Russia superior to US in space technology

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The US government’s recent order of Russian rocket engines shows that America has become inferior to Russia in space technology, says an American analyst and former US Army officer.

United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, said Wednesday it had ordered 20 new RD-180 rocket engines from Russia on top of 29 engines it ordered last year.

The Russian engines will be used to lift off the Atlas 5 rockets until a new American-made engine is developed and certified, the ULA said.

The new order came after Congress enacted a massive spending bill that eased a ban on using Russian engines to launch US military and intelligence satellites for the 2016 fiscal year.

In an interview with Press TV on Friday, counter-terrorism analyst Scott Bennett described the deal as “comical” and a sign of lacking American technology.

“[The deal] is really comical if it was not so sad and so illustrative of the real fall of the American technological sector and education, as well as the American society,” he said.

In the 1980s, during former president Ronald Reagan’s administration, the US trounced the Soviet Union in space technology, a superiority that Americans celebrated as a “major victory,” the analyst said.

However, he noted, what Reagan started was never advanced by his successors. “Sad to say, none of them have ever been able to hold a light to Ronald Reagan, because over the past 30 years the US has slowly deteriorated and degenerated educationally, leaving the basic foundation of its space engineering mathematical programs, where the Russians have not. ”

“We see that Russia now is in the position that the US was in 1980s,” Bennett said. “Russia has superior technology.”

According to Bennett, who is also a former US Army psychological warfare officer, Moscow is now far ahead of Washington in terms of satellite and aircraft engine technology.

“This is widely known by those in the military sectors that has been evidenced by certain drones flying over the US naval vessels, shattering their capability,” Bennett claimed.

The analyst noted that Russia has every right to sanction the US and refuse selling its space technology to Washington, which serves as a counter-measure to the Western sanctions imposed against Moscow last year.

The US and the European Union have imposed several sets of economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in east Ukraine since the early 2014. Moscow denies any involvement, saying the sanctions will not change its stance on its western neighbor.

The news came on the heels of a recent decision by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to end its reliance on Russian technology for manned missions to the International Space Station.


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  • Lone Ranger

    We knew that already.
    RD-180(Atlas V), RD-181(Antares), Soyuz 2(ESA), ROS(ISS).

  • Dirk Bowler

    Comical article. The author conveniently ignores SpaceX, a US company, that has, in just 13 year, surpassed the Russians in space hardware. Has the Russian space program landed a first stage after successfully boosting a second stage with payload to an eventual orbit? No? I didn’t think so.

    • Lone Ranger

      Thats a solution to a problem that never existed in the first place.
      Russians can launch cheaper even without landing their first stage again, you also forget that the U.S. gvot is giving billions to SpaceX, on paper it all looks good but if you take into consideration all the billions payed by you and all the taxpayers in the U.S. than they arent cheaper than the Russians at all.
      A Falcon 9 needs 9 engines strapped together while an Atlas V powered by a single Russian RD-180 has the same thrust.
      SpaceX cant transport people either, all the astro and cosmonauts are being launched by Russia as well as 70% of the cargo.

  • Rocketman

    So the author is currently a counter-terrorism analyst and used to be a US Army psychological warfare officer. hmm… what credibility, then, is there in anything he has to say about the U.S. space program and aerospace industries. The Russians are not more advanced than the U.S. in these areas and never have been. The rocket engines we buy from Russia are 1960’s designs and in the case of the RD-180 the only reason we’re buying from them is that after the cold war was over and we were friends with the Russians, trade studies for the evolution of the Atlas family of launch vehicles showed an economic advantage to using the RD-180. Also in the case of the NK-33 AKA AJ-26 that Orbital Sciences used on their Antares Launch Vehicle again the choice was made based on the bottom line. Aerojet bought a bunch of vintage 1960’s NK-33 engines that had been in a warehouse in Russia for 40 or so years, brought ’em over here and refurbished them and called them AJ-26. Then you know what happened? Two of them blew up on the test stand, one because of cracks in a fuel duct and the other because insufficient design of LOX turbo-pump bearings. Then a third blew on the bottom of the Antares launch vehicle, again a LOX turbo-pump failure. Russia’s more advanced than the U.S….. yea right you idiot of an author.

    • Rocketman

      Correction to the above: The author is quoting a counter-terrorism analyst who used to be a US Army psychological warfare officer. The author is still an idiot because he is sourcing his information from someone who don’t know what they’re talking about. His source is quite the idiot too!

    • Lone Ranger

      The NK-33 engines blew up after they were refurbished by a U.S. and an Ukrainian company, FACT.
      Rule nr.1 in rocket tech is if you cant copy it you shouldnt mod it either.
      Now the company bought the brand new RD-181 from Russia:)
      The Antares will be a success story just like the Atlas V thanks to Russia.

      The RD-180 is based on the RD-170 wich were the liquid boosters on the Energia carrier system, the RD-180 is basically a light cut in half eco version of it and it still outperforms everything the U.S. currently has in the medium lift category, the RD-170 is 70/80’s tech the RD-180 is late 80’s-90’s, tech the Russians gave the U.S. the blueprints the metallurgy, even Russian scientists to teach them the know how, they still couldnt copy it, now they are buying it by the $billions from Russia.
      According to United Launch Alliance and NASA the U.S. wont be able to produce an engine of similar capebiltiy till at least 2020, that means the Russians are around 30 years ahead of the U.S. in rocket tech, and thats a conservative estimate.
      But hey, keep believeing that you are the mucho macho the numero uno, the Romans did tha same…Good news for the rest of the World:)

  • TJ

    When the Rooskies walk on the moon, using US micro-electronics technology of course, I might begin to worry a bit. They have showed no great advances to bring them toe to toe with us. They make a good cast iron, inexpensive rocket engine from the ’60s. Why not save a few bucks while we advance quietly via private investment.

    • Lone Ranger

      You are living in a dreamworld, the U.S. cant even copy the RD-180, and yes they tried, so they are paying heavy $billions to Russia for each engine, United Launch Alliance bought 40 engines in the summer and they are buying another 20 early in 2016, Cöngress tried to veto it but after they realized that there is no U.S. alternatives they lifted the ban.
      While the U.S. walked on the Moon, if you belive that, lol, the Russians mastered reliable high powered every day practical use of commercial rocket carriers and space stations, the core of the ISS is Russian as well (ROS).

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