Will there be no end to the interminable mistrust between Russia and the United States? Even though we share the International Space Station, the Russians are still dubious of NASA’s prowess. Their latest jab returned to the space-race of old, a race the US won when we were the first to the moon.
Russian cosmonauts, not to be outdone, are still hoping to get to the moon. Now they may be on their way.
“We’ve set such a task – to go there and check if they were there or not,” Dmitry Rogozin joked. “The Americans say – they’ve been there. We’ll verify that.”
Rogozin, head of the Russian space program, was making a joke, but he reignited the fire under a long dormant conspiracy theory that claims the US faked the moon landing.
“Switching to a more serious tone,” RT writes, “he said that no country is currently capable of fulfilling a successful lunar program on its own. Russia expecting to cooperate with the US in exploring the Earth’s satellite, Rogozin said as he visited a Russian spacecraft engine manufacturer in Moscow.”
The mission, planned for sometime more than a decade out, will last 14 days. It is part of an ambitious plan for the Russian space program. Another component includes a lunar space station that would orbit the moon. Current plans call for the new station to be built in orbit.
Rogozin has been clear about Russia’s ambitious lunar exploration program. The country plans to build a base on the moon, too. Rogozin suggests it will be a stopping point for the cosmonauts, but would permanently house robots that would support the mission.
Neil Armstrong, first stepped on the moon July 21, 1969. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” he said. The moment has been picked apart ever since.
Yet it was the Soviet Union who sent the first man into space. Yury Gagarin made the journey on April 12, 1961.
The notion that the moon landing was faked is still alive. “Many of the arguments of conspiracy theorists have been debunked over the years, but between 7 and 20 percent of Americans still believe the lunar program to be hoax, according to various polls,” RT notes. “As for the Russians, a survey this summer revealed that 57 percent were confident that the Americans never traveled to the Moon, but falsified all the evidence instead.”
Rogozin may find out.