"The reports that this is a $1 billion contract are incorrect," Beneski told Sputnik. "The full value if all the options were exercised would be significantly less. I can't be more precise about the value."
Orbital, responsible for building and launching the unmanned Antares rocket carrying Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), says that they are on track with US government agencies to obtain all the necessary authorizations for the use of the RD-181 engines.
On Wednesday, Russia's Izvestiya newspaper reported that NPO Energomash had signed a contract with Orbital for the delivery of 60 RD-181 rocket engines to be used to power the Antares rocket's first stage.
Orbital says that they looked at several other propulsion providers, but decided to use the RD-181 engines, because the Russian designed engine offered "the best combination of schedule availability, technical performance and cost parameters as compared to other possible options," according to statement released by the company on Tuesday.
In October, the Antares rocket which was supposed to deliver over two tons of cargo to the ISS exploded six seconds after liftoff at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.