Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.
Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:
If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
Cortaro, AZ 85652
You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.
In a letter written by a bi-partisan group of California legislators, Congress is pressuring the Air Force to replace the Russian engines on its Atlas rocket, and do to it competitively.
“While it is important that we invest in new technology, the problem of Russian reliance calls for an immediate solution,” states the Sept. 22 letter, which was signed by 32 of California’s 53 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. … In the letter, the House members said they are “troubled by the Department’s willingness to continue sourcing this engine from the Russian government, apparently in the hope that the situation with Russia does not deteriorate further, and that Russia chooses to continue supporting U.S. military launches — while it ignores American sources of engine technology. “We strongly encourage you to recognize that the United States — and specifically, California — today produces technology that exceeds any capability offered by Russian systems,” the letter said. “It is time for the Department to look to these existing U.S. engine manufacturers and launch vehicle providers.”
This letter suggests to me that SpaceX has won its battle with the Air Force and is going to get some launch contracts. It also suggests that ULA and Blue Origin will likely be able to get the funding from Congress to finance the design and construction of the replacement engine they have jointly proposed.