WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Atlas V consists of two stages, with the first stage powered by a Russian-made, dual-nozzle RD-180 engine.
"We recognize the importance of on time and reliable transportation of crew and cargo to station and are honored the Atlas V was selected to continue to launch cargo resupply missions for NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration]," United Launch Alliance Vice President of Human and Commercial Systems Gary Wentz stated in the release.
Sierra Nevada is also developing a version of the Dream Chaser to carry humans into space, according to published reports.
In 2014, the US Congress strictly limited future purchases of Russian RD-180 engines used in Atlas launch vehicles since 2000 at a time when it imposed economic sanctions on Russia over Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine's domestic affairs.
The US Blue Origin company has been developing BE-4 engines, set to eventually replace Russia's RD-180, since 2011. The flight tests are expected to take place in 2019.