Russia stops selling rocket engines to US and suggests Nasa can 'fly broomsticks' instead

RUSSIA has announced that it won't be shipping rocket engines to the US anymore.

To add insult to injury, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, suggested Nasa would just have to fly on broomsticks instead.

The news comes as tensions escalate between the two countries in the aftermath of Russia invading Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, said in a state broadcast: "In a situation like this we can't supply the United States with our world's best rocket engines.

"Let them fly on something else, their broomsticks, I don't know what."

Rogozin claims that Russia has sent 122 shipments of RD-180 engines to the US since the 1990s.

About 98 of these are said to have been used to power Atlas launch vehicles.

The US has been reducing its reliance on Russian space equipment for some time now.

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There's thought to be a number of replacement options in development.

Elon Musk's SpaceX now works with Nasa on projects.

In 2018, Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin was also tapped to create a replacement for the Russian RD-180 engines that are now being withheld.

Roscosmos has also said it won't be servicing any rocket engines that have already been delivered to the US.

This means there's about 24 engines that will be left without Russian technical assistance.

Overall, the withheld rocket engines shouldn't cause too many problems for Nasa's plans and other US rocket launches.

The International Space Station is probably the most major piece of space hardware that ties the US and Russia together.

American and Russian astronauts are orbiting Earth together up there all the time.

However, Russia has said that Western sanctions have made it question whether it can continue with ISS commitments beyond 2024.

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