WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

McCain: End Reliance On Russian Rocket Engines

ULA's Atlas V at Cape Canaveral.

U.S. Senator John McCain is urging the military to end reliance on Russian-made rocket engines.

The U.S. Air Force contracts United Launch Alliance, a private space company, to launch its satellites. ULA uses the Russian-made RD-180 engines on Atlas V rockets, which launch from Florida’s Space Coast.

To understand why Arizona Senator John McCain wants the U.S. to stop using the engines, you have to go back to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago. After Russia annexed Crimea, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia – including limiting the number of RD-180 engines the U.S. could purchase for military space launches.

But McCain said the sanctions don’t go far enough. At a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting last week, he expressed concern over the Air Force’s use of ULA and the Russian engine.

The Air Force said it’s working to end reliance on the engine. Last month, the Air Force awarded $80 million to private space companies SpaceX and Orbital ATK to develop new rocket engines that could replace the RD-180.

The next Atlas V launches from Cape Canaveral this week.


Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.

SUBSCRIBE

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »

TOP