The US Senate authorized NASA to cooperate with Russia in circumvention of sanctions

US lawmakers adopted an amendment to the document on sanctions against Moscow, which approved the use of Russian-made rocket engines.

The Senate of the US Congress, in the course of voting on the draft sanctions against Russia, approved on Thursday, June 15, an amendment deriving the cooperation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with Moscow from the document, as well as joint commercial launches with Russia space. This was reported by CNN.

The need for adjustments was due to the fact that the US space agency, as well as the US Department of Defense, use Russian rocket engines on Atlas V and Antares launch vehicles. This is, in particular, the two-chamber liquid rocket engine RD-180 and its export modification RD-181 produced by the Russian research and production association Energomash.

The issue of removing restrictions on the procurement of these engines in May 2015 has already been raised by US defense and intelligence agencies. Then in the center of the discussion was a contract with NPO Energomash for the supply of 18 RD-180 engines, concluded before the annexation of the Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Pentagon drew attention to the fact that the implementation of the agreement was in the interest of the American side, but promised at the same time that efforts would be made to switch to its own production rocket power plants operating on methane.

The document on tightening sanctions against Moscow was adopted by an overwhelming majority of votes – 98 against 2. This step was a response to her interference in the campaign for the election of the US President in 2016, as well as for the annexation of Russia by the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea and Russia’s actions in Syria, CNN . The law will enter into force after it is approved by the House of Representatives and will be signed by the President of the United States Donald Trump.