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12 Apr, 2020 13:25

Roscosmos vs Musk: Russian Space Agency chief & SpaceX CEO cross virtual swords on Twitter

Roscosmos vs Musk: Russian Space Agency chief & SpaceX CEO cross virtual swords on Twitter

A Twitter duel broke out between the head of the Roscosmos agency and the SpaceX CEO, who said Russia won’t be successful unless it catches up with multiple-use rocket technology – prompting a sharp rebuke.

Aspiring Mars explorer and SpaceX founder Elon Musk fired the first shots in the online war of words after Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin announced that his agency will charge 30 percent less for space launches “to increase our share on the international markets.”

He then mentioned SpaceX, saying that the measure comes in retaliation for tactics used “by American companies funded from the US [government] budget.”

“SpaceX rockets are 80 percent reusable, theirs are 0 percent. This is the actual problem,” Musk shot back on Twitter.

Rogozin then said that Roscosmos has no need for advice from Washington.

Musk continued, tweeting that while Russia has a pool of “very talented engineers,” it should set reusability as a goal “or success is impossible."

Backing up his claim, the entrepreneur likened expendable rockets – used for commercial or research missions by most space powers – to “expendable airplanes,” the existence of which would look strange nowadays.

His argument didn’t sit well with Russia’s space chiefs. Dmitry Loskutov, CEO of Roscosmos subsidiary Glavkosmos, called it “ridiculous” that Musk was “trying to turn discussion into reusability issues.”

“Instead of honest competition on space launch markets, they are lobbying for sanctions against us and use price dumping with impunity,” Rogozin tweeted later.

Rogozin and Musk have engaged in Twitter altercations on several occasions, with their dialogue going through ups and downs. The two have praised each other with tight-lipped compliments, but they have also exchanged veiled accusations of unfair play.

Also on rt.com ‘Hard to argue with Elon’: Roscosmos head taunts Musk’s praise of Russian rockets

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