US court bans Russian rocket engine purchases for military space launches

02 May 2014

Key Points

  • US Federal Court Judge Susan Braden has prevented the purchase of Russian-made rocket engines
  • The legal maneuovre follows a suit filed by private launch provider SpaceX and a congressional effort to commence a new rocket engine development

A US federal court judge has issued an injunction against the purchase of Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines for military satellite launches, citing US sanctions against the head of Moscow's space sector.

The 1 May injunction filed by Federal Court Judge Susan Braden prevents Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance (ULA), and its US Air Force (USAF) customer from "making any purchases from, or payment of money to, NPO Energomash or any entity, whether governmental, corporate or individual, that is subject to the control of Deputy Prime Minister [Dmitry] Rogozin".

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