Of course Russia's ex-space boss doubts US set foot on the Moon
'How did NASA do what they did in the 60s what they cannot do now?'
The former director general of Russia's space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin is skeptical that NASA really landed astronauts on the Moon in its historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
Rogozin questioned the lunar landing in a message on his Telegram channel over the weekend. He claimed that before he worked at Roscosmos, he sent an official request to the Russian space agency for evidence that NASA astronauts had set foot on the Moon, and only received in response a book titled, "Conquest of the Moon by Astronauts."
He criticized the tome for containing only anecdotal evidence from a cosmonaut, who was told by NASA that astronauts had successfully landed and walked on the Moon in the 1960s. When he later led Roscosmos from 2018 to 2022, Rogozin claimed he failed to find any data that convinced him Apollo 11 and its crew touched down on our natural satellite. He said NASA fans and Russian scientists pushed back on his skepticism, and accused him of trying to sow disharmony between Washington and Moscow.
"Yes, I did not undermine or aggravate anything, but only by virtue of my nature I tried to get to the bottom of the details and establish, at least for myself, the true state of affairs in the issue of exploration of the Moon by our competitors. It was not clear to me how the United States, at that level of technological development of the 60s of the last century, did what they still cannot do now?" he said in a translated Telegram post.
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Rogozin is well-known for being provocative. Last year, he was suddenly ousted as Roscosmos' boss and replaced with the current head Yuri Borisov. It's not clear why he was moved on, although some have speculated it could be due to his controversial rants on social media and other aggressive comments.
Tensions around Rogozin's behavior increased after Russia illegally invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The European Space Agency axed plans to launch the ExoMars rover in 2024, a joint project with Roscosmos, amid sanctions against Russia. In response, Russia pulled out of other EU space projects.
During his time, Rogozin also repeatedly threatened to pull out of the International Space Station and build a private Russian-only lab in low-Earth orbit. ®