July 01, 2020

Trampolines, Lava and the Constitution

A jocular, years-long online feud between the head of the Russian Space Agency, Dmitry Rogozin, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has finally come to an end.

Rogozin, who is uncharacteristically outspoken for a bureaucrat, was thrust to the leadership position at Roscosmos in 2018. In 2014 he famously quipped on his personal Twitter account that, in the absence of a manned spaceflight program, the US might as well “use a trampoline” to get its astronauts to the space station. At the time, Russia was the only country able to blast humans into orbit, and the US was passing biting sanctions (following the Russian annexation of Crimea) that in part affected Russia’s space industry.

When SpaceX successfully launched its first manned reusable rocket in May, Musk had the last laugh: “The trampoline is working,” he said.

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