Thursday, May 1, 2014

SpaceX granted injunction

A U.S. court issued an injunction blocking United Launch Alliance, a Lockheed Martin/Boeing joint venture, from buying Russian-made rocket engines after SpaceX filed a lawsuit protesting the contract. SpaceX, which sued Monday, said the contract should have been competitively bid. The preliminary injunction was issued late Wednesday by Judge Susan Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The ruling blocks payments to any entity subject to the control of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, including the Russian state-owned company that makes the rocket engines. Rogozin heads Russia's defense industry and space program, and is on a sanctions list over the crisis in Ukraine. The injunction could be lifted if the U.S. Treasury, Commerce Department or State Department reviews the deal and finds it does not violate sanctions. (Source: AFP via Space Travel, Washington Post, AFP via Space Travel, 05/01/14) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX will be testing its deep-space rocket engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; United Launch Alliance's Delta IV rocket uses RS-68 engines tested at SSC; Lockheed Martin builds satellite core propulsion systems at SSC; Aerojet Rocketdyne tests AJ-26 engines, modified versions of the Russian-built NK-33 and NK-43 engines, at SSC. The AJ-26 powers Orbital Science's Antares rocket, used to launch the Cygnus spacecraft on cargo missions to the International Space Station. Previous