An interesting conflicting factor in the stand-off with Russia.
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Handout / Reuters
In 2012, the Air Force began procuring rockets for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. This program caries spy satellites and other sensitive technology into space. The rocket they effectively use for this mission is the Atlas V, which is powered by Russian-built RD-180 engine.
Due to an administration decision to shut down America’s manned space program, all American astronauts scheduled to serve on the International Space Station must travel by Russian Soyuz rocket launched from Russian territory.
“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted.”
… and are completely dependent on Russian rockets for supplies and transportation back to earth.