Thoughts on the RD-180, Senator McCain and Unicorns

For those who haven’t seen the hearing from this morning. Here is the first commentary I have seen on it. More to follow from yours truly.

Space Thoughts

The hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 27, 2016 did not disappoint. Senator McCain came out strong against Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall with what can be characterized as a verbal flogging. Doubtless, Senator McCain is doubly stung by ULA declining to bid on the recent GPS-III RFP and having his restrictions on the RD-180 undone at the eleventh hour by a drop-in provision in the 2016 omnibus bill, which invalidated those restrictions.

During his opening statement, Senator McCain announced he was introducing a bill, which would remove the provision from the 2016 omnibus spending bill that allows continued purchases of RD-180 engines for national security missions. Notably, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California announced a similar bill in the House. Beyond his opening statement, Senator McCain took on the roleā€¦

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