Russia has reacted defiantly to a threat by the USA to restrict Russian commercial launches of US-built satellites. The Clinton Administration has warned Moscow to crack down on exports supporting Iran's military capability or four commercial satellite launches planned this year will be cancelled. The move would mean the loss of business to the Russians of around $280 million.

Eleven US-built satellites are scheduled for launch on Russian boosters this year, but permission has been granted for only seven and the other four have been put in doubt over the latest problem.

Up to 16 US-built satellites are awaiting Proton launches under the umbrella of the Lockheed Martin-led ILS International Launch Services, while 24 US-built Globalstar satellites are awaiting six Soyuz launches. It is possible the problem could spread to International Space Station work.

Source: Flight International