10:27 GMT +320 September 2019
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    The Dream Chaser space vehicle, pictured in Edwards, California

    US Rocket With Russian Engine to Launch 1st Dream Chaser Spaceship to ISS in 2021 - Source

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Atlas V launch vehicle, the first stage of which is powered by the Russian-made RD-180 engine, is expected to launch the first US Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) in September 2021, a source in the rocket and space industry told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "The launch of the first Dream Chaser spaceship is planned for September 2021," the source said.

    Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser will be launched from Cape Canaveral Spaceport.

    Last December, Dream Chaser completed a key milestone for NASA’s commercial resupply services contract, clearing the way for the full production of the spacecraft.

    In order to lower Washington's reliance on Russian engines, the US Congress had attempted to strictly limit future purchases of RD-180, which is developed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, a major Russian rocket engine manufacturer, as part of economic sanctions against Moscow, with a law requiring the United States to develop a domestically produced next-generation rocket propulsion system by 2019 having been passed. However, in 2015, the ban was cancelled and the following year, the US Senate decided to continue purchasing Russian RD-180 rocket engines for launches into space.


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