Next US Rocket Engine Still Years Away

With things the way they are with Vladimir Putin, it's probably not ideal that the US finds itself depending on Russian-made rocket engines at the moment - and yet that's where we find ourselves. Any next generation US-made engines (even the potential commercially built ones) will not be ready for years, which puts us over a bit of a sub-orbital barrel.
Congress in December authorized $220 million to begin developing a replacement to the RD-180 as part of a massive spending bill called the Omnibus Appropriations Act. Additional funding for the development effort is expected. 
But a made-in-America first-stage engine for the Atlas V may not be ready until the next decade. Firms vying to build a domestic alternative to the RD-180 made by NPO Energomash acknowledged they’re still years away from having their technology tested and certified.

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