Dec 19 2014

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Orbital Sciences buys 60 Russian RD-181 rocket engines

That’ll be good for about 30 launches, which should give them until…oh…2020ish…to develop their own engine.

I’m not surprised at this decision, though I wonder how hard they looked at other American engines. Given that the sanctions have definitely hurt the Russian aerospace industry, and that oil prices have dropped through the floor pummeling the Russian economy, the Russians had to be pretty desperate for this deal. It looks like Orbital Sciences got the entire package for $1 billion, which is a pretty rock-bottom price for rocket engines.

On Tuesday, Orbital’s Launch Systems Group (LSG) executive vice president and general manager Ron Grabe was quoted by the Aviation Week journal as saying that the company decided upon the RD-181 engine “because it offered the best combination of schedule availability, technical performance and cost compared to the other possible options.”

No doubt.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/12/19/orbital-sciences-buys-60-russian-rd-181-rocket-engines/

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