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As the Obama administration ratchets up sanctions against Moscow, U.S. reliance on Russian space hardware is under increasing political scrutiny.

Although Washington has limited political and economic influence over Moscow, recent actions in all three branches of the U.S. government bring the potential to disrupt supply chains across the spectrum of global space manufacturing—from Russian ion-propulsion thrusters flying on U.S.-built satellites to the NPO Energomash RD-180 engine that powers the first stage of Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5 rocket.

More broadly, Western governments are questioning regular use of Russian and Ukrainian launch vehicles to send commercial and government payloads to orbit, notably atop the Proton, Soyuz, Zenit and Dnepr rockets that routinely launch U.S. and European spacecraft.

And that is regretable. To read more, click here.