America asks Russia to re-establish production of the old moon engine NK-33


Liquid rocket engine NK-33 was developed by the Samara Scientific-Technical Complex named after ND Kuznetsov for the Soviet lunar program. It is an improved version of the engine NK-15, which is mounted on the first stage of the lunar rocket H-1. NK-33 engine has a thrust of 154 ton, running on a mixture of kerosene and oxygen, characterized by the increased resource, reliability and ease of construction. Production of the engine was discontinued, but maybe it will resume again.

The company recently sold its Pratt & Whitney Corporation GenCorp Inc. his famous division of Rocketdyne, engaged in the development and production of rocket engines. Newly formed legally, but in fact the old company Aerojet Rocketdyne talks with SNTK. ND Kuznetsova resume production of engines NK-33 (in the U.S. are modified and appropriate designation AJ-26). While we are talking about the supply of 4-6 units per year, they will be used in rockets Antares company Orbital Sciences, which plans to deal with the launch of satellites, including the military.

It is assumed that the new engines will be produced in 2016. Aerojet Rocketdyne has already acquired 43 previously released NC-33, and is planning a major renovation and preparation for operation of at least 23 of them. These engines will be used as a kind of "buffer" in case of any failures in the future production. In addition, until 2016, under a contract with NASA, the company Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide at least 8 launches rocket Antares. The first demonstration launch took place at the end of April 2013. For a long time the old "got over" the engine is not enough, so that Americans need to look for new ones, but not enough suitable power plants and they are all Russian.

President of Aerojet Rocketdyne Warren Boley (Warren Boley) argues that SNTK. ND Kuznetsova agree to resume production of NK-33 and is only required permission from the Russian government, which it expects to receive in the coming months. It should be noted that in April this year, a representative of the NGO "Energomash" said the NC-33 will not be issued more. While it is unclear whether Warren will be able to achieve the restoration of Sick NC-33, but he has already said that there is another option. He is "knocking out" the right to buy the RD-180 or other engine, again the Russian — RD-191 engines with a thrust of 196 mc.

As you know, Orbital Sciences has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission for another company — United Launch Alliance. The complaint is that the latter actually monopolized the purchase of the RD-180 manufactured by the Russian NGO "Energomash." As a result, the Russian rocket engine only fly Atlas, while other companies would want to put a reliable and powerful (390 ton) of RD-180 or equivalent engine on their boosters. More information about the competition, the Americans for Russian engines.

Thus, for the Russian manufacturers developed a very advantageous situation from which you can not only make a profit, but also strengthen the position in the rapidly emerging private space market.

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