NASA certifies Russia's rocket engines for manned flights

NASA certifies Russia's rocket engines for manned flights

NASA and the US Air Force have certified Russia's RD-180 engines for Atlas V carrier rockets to used for manned spaceflights by US astronaut, director general of Russia's major rocket engine manufacturer JSC NPO Energomash and the United Launch Alliance Igor Arbuzov said.

"Yes, as of today, RD-180 is certified by NASA to perform manned flights," Sputnik cited Arbuzov as saying.

He explained that a commission comprised of NASA and US Air Force representatives had conducted an audit of compliance of NPO Energomash's technological processes and management system with US requirements last year.

"They issued a conclusion that our system complies with the requirements for conducting manned missions," Energomash's director general said.

According to Arbuzov, the first flight of an Atlas V carrier rocket with Russia's RD-180 engines, which will carry a Starliner spacecraft and crew on board, should take place in February 2019. An unmanned launch is scheduled for November 2018.

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