COMMENTARY: McCain Fails to Pass Musk Earmark in Russia Sanctions Bill

Elon Musk’s SpaceX took a huge hit in the Senate this week – a bang comparable in scope to those of his failed rockets crashing down on the Cape Canaveral launch pad.

The Senate rejected an attempt by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to sneak language into a protectionist Russia sanctions bill that would have benefitted SpaceX by stopping the use of Russian rocket engines in NASA space exploration launches.

Currently, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) is using Russian rocket engines as they transition to American-made engines.  If the use of Russian rocket engines, and parts, were to be made illegal right now, then SpaceX would be the new provider of all the launches. Although McCain and his allies are claiming that the language is necessary in the bill to punish Russia, Americans would be punished if the space program was slowed. One big problem with a quick transition to SpaceX…



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