‘Venus is a Russian planet’ claims space chief

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Dmitry Rogozin made the rather bizarre claim while speaking to reporters at an exhibition last week.

As head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Rogozin certainly can’t be faulted for ambitious thinking – even if laying claim to an entire planet is taking things a bit far.

While attending an international helicopter exhibition in Moscow on Tuesday, the 56-year-old had been speaking in response to research suggesting that there could be primitive organisms living in the atmosphere of Venus when he made the claim that it was a ‘Russian planet’.

“Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” he said. “The spacecraft gathered information about the planet – it is like hell over there.”

“Resuming Venus exploration is on our agenda. We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn’t lag behind.”

Rogozin is certainly correct that Russia is the only nation to have ever successfully landed a spacecraft on the surface of Venus, a feat that necessitated several tries to get right.

On August 17th, 1970, Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to perform a soft landing on another world when it touched down on Venus. Venera 9 in 1975 was the first to return photos from the surface.

Exploration of Venus however proved so challenging that the Soviet’s eventually abandoned it.

 

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