NASA and SpaceX made history over the weekend, using manned Dragon spacecraft to send two U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. It was the first manned spacecraft launched from the U.S. mainland since the end of the space shuttle program and the first by NASA’s commercial crew program, which requires SpaceX and Boeing to develop a manned spacecraft that could send astronauts into space.
At a news conference after the successful launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said “trampolines are working.” This refers to some of the “demeaning” remarks made by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency. The remark seemed to have sparked a very random war of words between the US and The US space agency.
Rogozin rarely speaks highly of NASA’s manned spacework. He has previously joked that NASA might as well “use a trampoline to send astronauts to the International Space Station” rather than develop its own manned launch system. Musk’s comments were an apparent hit with the Russian space agency.
Remarkably, Rogozin was unapologetic about the remark, even applauding Musk’s.
But While Rogozin congratulated him on Twitter, the Russian space agency itself issued a statement downplaying the importance of the SpaceX launch.
“We really don’t understand the hype surrounding the successful launch of a manned Dragon spacecraft,” Vladimir Ustimenko, a spokesman for the Russian space agency, said in a statement on Twitter. “What should have happened a long time ago has happened. “
Russia also responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments that the U.S. will once again be a leader in new space technology. The Russian space agency responded on Twitter that it had conducted “tests of two new rockets, and that we will resume the lunar program next year.”