NPO Energomash to re-brand RD-180

....and the rocket's red glare
NPO Energomash has begun experimenting with a technique to add colors signifying American patriotism to the exhaust flames so that each launch may serve as a reminder.

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) – NPO Energomash has announced that their successful Ракетный Двигатель-180 (known in the west as the RD-180) will be renamed the “Reagan-180”, freeing it from further threat of trade restrictions imposed by the United States.

“Some senators in the United States”, announced NPO spokesman Dmitri Moiseyevich, “have expressed concerns related to this reliable, mission-proven RD-180 engine. After careful consideration, we are proud to announce that this high-performance propulsion device shall now be known as the Reagan 180, named”, he added, “after the brave President and Actor respected by so many over… there.” He continued to note that a careful reading of attempted restrictions on the engines has revealed that the limitations on use for defense payloads is keyed off the name of the engine itself, not the country of origin.

“We are seeing in document”, Mr. Moiseyevich said, pointing at a printout of the latest defense spending legislation, “that specifically is calling out ‘RD-180’ and so we are asking selves: are we being too proud to change name?” Shaking his head emphatically, the spokesman assured gathered reporters this was not the case. “Absolutely not, and we have chosen your Ronald Reagan as the new name of the engine to honor this great statesman, not simply to give it a name that would make it politically impossible to ban.  Looking significantly into the crowd, he continued that “to suggest such a cynical strategy for defeating the wishes of, say, a respected war hero in your Congress is beyond mention.”

The Reagan-180 American Freedom is fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen, and the NPO Energomash rep noted that from a statistical standpoint, every flight almost certainly uses at least some oxygen that had at one point been breathed by the founders of the United States of America. “Is propelled by freedom!” he enthused.