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August 04, 2023

The Last of a Cooperative Era Takes Flight in Recent Space Launch

Antares Booster is a Silent Swan Song of East-West Cooperation

Space nerds watching NG-19 the last of the East-West rockets take off this week when an Antares booster lifted the Cygnus space capsule on its way to the ISS. A pair of Russian RD-181 engines powered the large rocket, the last time the country would be offering its wares for a cooperative spacefaring venture for the foreseeable future. The Antares rocket was a hodgepodge of different components, sporting Russian engines, Ukrainian structure, and an American first stage and payload. In years past, such partnerships were a way to pay into the pot of spacefaring goodwill, a service to the higher goals of human exploration and international brotherhood. Such ideals have faded quickly

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