The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said today that the proposed Russian trip to the Moon will verify American Moon landings in the late 1960s, and ’70s.
“We have set this objective to fly and verify whether they’ve been there or not,” said Dmitry Rogozin in a video posted Saturday on Twitter.
Rogozin was responding to a question about whether or not NASA actually landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago. He appeared to be joking, as he smirked and shrugged while answering. But conspiracies surrounding NASA’s moon missions are common in Russia.
The Soviet Union abandoned its lunar program in the mid-1970s after four experimental moon rockets exploded. In 2015, a former spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee called for an investigation into NASA moon landings, wrote Associated Press.
Roscomos has been losing the bulk of its satellite launch business to Elon Musk and SpaceX, which has caused a significant emotional reaction in the Russian Federation. Space has long been the bulwark of Russian science and the current situation is causing a loss of face as well as a loss of revenue. In addition to market share, SpaceX also launched a heavy version of its Falcon rocket which the Russians to date cannot compete with as far as payload. Musk released into space a version of one his Tesla cars with an android behind the wheel playing ‘Space Odyssey’ by David Bowie.
Roscosmos has laid off a significant number of personal as it deals with the loss of launch market share. There have also been accusations of sabotage on board the Russian-built section of the International space station, where holes were found ‘drilled’ into the structure, causing an emergency situation for the cosmonauts on board the vessel.
According to the head of Roscosmos, now no country in the world can implement the lunar program alone, so he looks forward to working with the United States to study the natural satellite of the Earth, reported Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.