Non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium.
Do you think that we will every put humans into orbit again without the Russian's help? (thanks Barack)
Who knows.Maybe the Mars thing will motivate us to get back to space on our own.
The engines actually have internal igniters, the sparks (from an abrasive wheel and steel pin) and flame are to make sure they light up. Any collection of unburnt fuel could blow the rocket straight off the pad!