Antares rocket crash highlights US reliance on old Russian technology

Antares rocket crash: This week’s  crash of Orbital Sciences’ unmanned Antares rocket is a “wake-up call” to the U.S. space community to reduce its reliance on Russian rocket engines, the head of Boeing Co’s defence division Chris Chadwick said yesterday. The Antares rocket was powered by a pair of Soviet-era NK-33 engines that were rebuilt by Aerojet Rocketdyne, a unit of GenCorp, and resold as AJ-26 engines. Even before the crash, Orbital had planned to switch to another engine given the age of the motors and uncertainty about future supplies. The Moscow Times

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