Americans should show more respect for Russia’s space programme after relying on it for nine years as the only way to send US astronauts into orbit, the head of Russia’s space agency said.
The United States launched the first astronauts from US soil since 2011 last month in a rocket built by SpaceX, the company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. In the intervening years, Americans flying to the International Space Station relied on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
“When our partners finally managed to conduct a successful test on their spacecraft, there were nothing but jokes and mockery directed at us,” Rogozin complained. Instead, the American space industry should have thanked Russia.
“Our country was the first to send a man into space,” Rogozin wrote. “We remain first to this day.”
Roscosmos has in recent years suffered a series of setbacks and corruption scandals, including during the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country’s far east.
It criticised US President Donald Trump’s “hysteria” after he said the SpaceX launch showed the United States had regained its place as the world’s leader in space.
Trump also said US astronauts would soon land on Mars, and that Washington would soon have “the greatest weapons ever imagined in history.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020