back to article Dickens' forgotten spaceship classic: A Tale of Three Missions

Atlas slipped a day, SpaceX slipped by more and ESA enjoyed some delay-based rover tinkering as we look back at the successful culmination – and the foiling – of great expectations in rocketry over the past few days. US mystery robot spaceplane enters second decade of operations United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the US …

  1. Hopalong

    RD-180 - Russian Built

    The RD-180 is actually built in Russia. The ULA has a license to build them in the US, but the bean counters must have decided it was better to leave the production of a critical bit of defence infrastructure in Russia.

    I wonder if ULA are getting a bit nervous in case Vulcan is not ready before they run out of RD-180's for Altas V.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: RD-180 - Russian Built

      Yup. Originally, using the RD-180s came with a requirement from Congress to start producing them in the US.

      Then Congress decided to not pay for that.

      Sound familiar?

      The SpaceX Merlin engine is a derivative of the FASTRAC engine that NASA binned because Congress refused to pay for it.

      Then Congress bitches that we have no native rocket engine development programs, until the RD-180 forced funding of things due to embarrassment.

      The X-37B is similar. NASA started the program, Congress decided to not pay for it, and the USAF fished it out of the trashbin.

  2. goldcd

    Only tangentially related

    but there's a great video showing ULA's rocket building from SmarterEveryDay -

  3. Unep Eurobats

    It is a far, far better comment

    that I post, than I have ever posted.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      What the Dickens

      are you on about man?

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