Elon Musk: Anonymous send message to CEO of SpaceX
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Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, extended the cryptic invitation to the South African billionaire on Twitter this week. The Russian space tzar reached out to Elon Musk after revealing Roscosmos’s plan to launch a TV crew into orbit. And what is most likely nothing more than a PR stunt for the Russian space agency has been interpreted by some as something more sinister.
Mr Rogozin tweeted on Wednesday: “Good afternoon, Mr @elonmusk! On October 5, a new expedition will leave for the International Space Station.
“We are planning to send a cinematographic group of the leading television channel as part of it.”
The goal, he explained, is to “tell the truth” about crewed spaceflight and the “constant risk” faced in space.
The news comes after Russia announced plans to film a “space drama” on the orbital lab.
The latest mission is pencilled in to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and it appears as though Mr Rogozin wants the SpaceX chief to be involved.
He said: “I would be glad to meet you personally. Come! We are waiting for you.”
The invitation was met with a degree of scepticism and worry from Mr Musk’s ardent fans.
One person tweeted: “It’s a trap @elonmusk, You’ll never come back from there.
A second asked: “Dmitry Olegovich, can you really ensure Mr Musk’s safety?
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“Perhaps it would be better if you were to visit Elon at Starbase, instead.”
And a third stated: “Beware Elon, They will send brilliant scientists and your designs stolen.”
It remains to be seen what the Russian space agency has planned for Mr Musk who has strong ties to the US’s NASA.
But the root of concerns is said to come after Mr Rogozin repeatedly voiced his discontent with SpaceX.
Mr Musk is the benefactor of two lucrative contracts with the US space agency, which uses his fleet of rockets to launch crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
Since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia’s Soyuz programme to launch crew into orbit, paying a hefty price for each flight.
But thanks to SpaceX, NASA has found a cheaper alternative to Soyuz in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
In May 2020, Crew Dragon became the first US-built spacecraft to launch from US soil in nearly a decade.
Following the historic flight, Mr Rogozin launched a scathing attack on SpaceX in an op-ed for Forbes, after it was suggested Russi and the US had locked horns in a new space race.
He wrote: “The fact that some country now has its own spacecraft does not mean we do not have one anymore.
“Our country was the first to send a man into space, and we remain dominant.
“On May 30 Elon Musk did not bring us down — he brought down his compatriots from Boeing passing them with the beginning of the flight tests. This war is theirs, but not ours.”
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