BOSTON, November 10 (Sputnik) — Russia is likely to continue supplying RD-180 engines for US Atlas carrier rockets despite cooling relations between Moscow and Washington, Russian and US physicist Roald Sagdeev told Sputnik.
"The Russian series RD-180 engine was being used for the American Atlas carrier rockets. And for some time here [in the United States] there was a state of confusion, with people wondering whether the use of RD engines in US carrier rockets would be affected by the prevailing atmosphere of bilateral relations. Moreover, many of these Atlas rockets launches are US Department of Defense orders," the physicist, member of Russian Academy of Sciences, said on the sidelines of the Russian-speaking Academic Science Association (RASA) conference, in Boston.
According to Sagdeev, "recent events confirm that Russia still won't interrupt the supply of these engines, and this work will continue."
"This is a very good sign that even in such a sensitive area relating to defense use, the obligations of cooperation will still be fulfilled," the scientist said.
The Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine, the successor of the Soviet-era RD-170, was first installed on a US Atlas III launch vehicle on 2000. It is now routinely used on Atlas V carrier rockets.
The conference, which was attended by Sagdeev, took place in Boston on November 8-9, supported by the Russian Embassy and Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, is aimed at promoting dialogue between the Russian and international scientific communities.
RASA is a non-governmental organization founded in 2008 and comprising former soviet scientists working outside of Russia. The organization has more than 400 members and holds annual conferences.
There are two RASA sections at the moment — in Europe and in the United States, with a third scheduled to be opened in Asia in 2015.