HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY) - As conflict in the Ukraine heats-up, Russia is trying to keep the U.S. at bay, by terminating a partnership with NASA.

"This is an issue we have to address if we are going to maintain America’s preeminence in space," said U.S. Rep Mo Brooks (R-5th District). 

Russia has threatened to stop selling RD-180 rocket engines to the U.S., and to stop allowing U.S. astronauts to use their rockets to go to the International Space Station in 2020.

"What you are seeing is the International Space Station and our military satellites have been caught up in a game of chess and the Russians are using them as pawns to sacrifice.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted this week saying, “Russia is ready to continue deliveries of RD-180 engines to the U.S. only under the guarantee that they won't be used in the interests of the Pentagon.”

This announcement from Russia comes after the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Russia arising from the conflict in Ukraine.

"We sent a letter to the NASA administrator asking him to react quickly to these potential issues that are facing our country,” Brooks said.

Congressman Brooks says its time for the U.S. to build its own rockets to get military satellites into space. He also wants NASA to implement contingency plans to keep the U.S. from losing it's access to the space station. 

"Who builds rockets better than Marshall Space Flight Center? I hope that our community will be given the opportunity to develop these rockets both as a replacement to the Russian RD-180 rocket engine and also to put us back into human space flight," Brooks said. 

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