RSC Energia Chief Questions Schedule for Elon Musk’s Moon Plan

SpaceX Crew Dragon Weldment Structure (Credit: SpaceX)

The head of Russia’s most prominent spaceflight company questioned whether Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be able to launch people around the moon next year and said Russia plans to revive tourism flights to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2020.

“As for the state of affairs specifically at Elon Musk’s company, it would be difficult to carry out such a mission in 2018, and even in 2020,” Vladimir Solntsev, general director of RSC Energia, the primary contractor for Russia’s human spaceflight program, said in a wide-ranging Q&A with the Russian news agency TASS.

Read the rest of my Space.com story here.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I wonder if Russians get introduced to how to perform talking points in a formalized manner. It always starts with a kernel of truth, and then goes off into “Stalin in Wonderland” territory. His doubts about Space X making the 50th anni of Apollo 8 are the more than reasonable appetizer. But to pretend that there’s no launch vehicle in sight is that first step into a world that is uniquely Russian in it’s ability to divert light rays from objects right in front of you. Then the deep step, to imply that the Russians don’t suffer from the very same delays, over-statements, and flat out failures that Space X suffers from. Or to claim they’ll have the Federation program online by 2024! That’s only 7 years away, everyone these days is taking a decade plus to get their capsules going. It’s like the time I had some Russians complain to me that they did not like the US because the winters in North Dakota were harsh. They’re a whacky crew, loveable, wonderfully brooding, intensely sad, but whacky. I love them.

  • windbourne

    Russian communication gets propaganda class.
    Same as those that work at RT, current white house, VOA, Fox news, etc.

  • JamesG

    …CNN, MSNBC, random newspapers, NPR, etc.

    Truth may not be dead, but it is irrelevant. Now there is only bias and spin. Interpret wisely.

  • duheagle

    Baseless braggadocio along with self-importance, bluster and aggression seem to comprise the essential Russian character. I don’t love them. It is good that they are fading from the world scene. No one will miss them when they’re gone.

  • Carlton Stephenson

    What do you expect the man to say? Every time they face a mike – they, Ariane, the Chinese, et al – they get asked about SpaceX. What a nuisance they must think Musk is.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Once NASA stops paying for crew flights and commercial launch has all the capacity it could need from SpaceX (Multiple Pads), Arianespace, Blue and ULA (Backup plan), they are dead in the water. The Russian space program will be in such a hurt locker Dmitry Rogozin will be at Cosco looking for a deal on trampolines.

  • mlc449

    Yawn. The WaPo, NYT subscriber-ship numbers are both up while Fox News falls behind both CNN and MSNBC (actual news channels). Turns out the American people don’t really enjoy pro-Russia/Trump propaganda being rammed down their throats by traitors.

    And, oh look, the first step in Trump’s impeachment and eventual arrest has been taken…..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/robert-mueller-special-counsel-russia-investigation.html

  • JamesG

    Always good to hear from the lunatic fringe. Thanks.

  • JamesG

    I LOLed.

    However, Energia probably (almost assuredly) has profit margin to spare and costs and efficiency they haven’t even thought of (’cause they don’t have to) yet.

  • Steve Ksiazek

    I don’t see the Russians having too many issues selling seats on those future flights to the ISS. And it just could be that the rest of the world looks at how many times the first flights of FH and crew Dragon have been delayed. There is no confidence in their ability to fly crew to LEO in 2018, let alone on a trip around the moon. The Russians are just correctly stating that the same Dragon capsule that goes to the ISS might not have enough shielding, life support, power for a trip around the moon. That means finally finishing one design, before moving onto the next. If the LEO Dragon isn’t ready for crew until 2019, is the moon possible in 2020 ?

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Not paying your workers is a good one, although they already figured that out.

  • Jeff2Space

    He ought to know. The Russian space program is notorious for late projects due to under funding by the Russian government.

  • duheagle

    Been hittin’ the wacky terbacky again, have you?

    Re: Fox News ratings.

  • Emmet Ford

    While removal from office is a real possibility, I doubt that Trump will ever be imprisoned. That would be an unfortunate precedent and a blow to the American tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. I would expect to see a blanket preemptive pardon issued by his successor.

  • mlc449
  • publiusr

    It’s sad to see what happened to Russian Space.

  • Bryan See

    That’s what Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom anti-technology US President Donald Trump is being friendly with, is trying to do – stop Elon Musk from saving humanity so that he could imprison the human race so that he could drive them into extinction and expanding his power beyond Earth. By killing Musk.

    And that’s why Elon Musk warned us about Russia, the third World War, religious extremism and anti-technology movements, particularly the phrase from Baba Vanga’s 1979 prediction about Russia “Everything will melt away like ice,” which is something that is warned about by others such as filmmaker Michael Moore.

    In 2014, asked in an interview whether he would visit Mars in his lifetime, Musk said “I hope so, if I don’t get assassinated by like, some Russian assassin, which is not out of the question. They’ve done that before!”

    In his GQ interview in the following year, he noted there is a window of opportunity when the technology necessary to send astronauts to Mars becomes available; however, it could rapidly be shut down because of religious extremism, anti-technology movements or the eruption of a third World War.

    He commented, “I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War. You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over. And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. So I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology. There’s also growth in religious extremism. Like, I mean, does ISIS grow…?”

    Musk sees the colonization of Mars as a moral duty to ensure the survival of mankind the same way a USB drive is meant to preserve data in case a computer crashes. A Martian colony could guarantee humanity survives in the event of a debacle that destroys life on Earth. “You back up your hard drive. Maybe we should back up life, too?” he asked.

    Global catastrophes take on many forms, all of which prophets and mystics such as Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Horacio Villegas and Baba Vanga warned.

    Nostradamus’ prophecy said: “Mabus will soon die, then will come, a horrible undoing of people and animals, at once one will see vengeance, one hundred powers, thirst, famine, when the comet will pass.”

    “Nuclear terrorism and natural disasters will destroy our planet until a giant planet approaches the earth,” Nostradamus also foresaw. In addition to World War 3, he expected an economic collapse in the world. The predictions of Nostradamus interpreters were advised people about the kind of war to be expected in 2017 and 2018. Nostradamus’ century IX predictions said: “Naval battle night will be overcome, fire in ships in the West ruin: New turn, the great ship, color anger to the defeated, and victory in a net.”

    Edgar Cayce predicted the possibility of a third World War. He spoke of strifes arising…“in Libya, and in Egypt, in Ankara, and in Syria; through the straits around those areas above the Persian Gulf.”

    Horacio Villegas foresaw such conflict. He reportedly told the Daily Star: “The main message that people need to know to be prepared is that between May 13th and October 13, 2017, this war will occur and be over with much devastation, shock and death!”

    Interestingly, Baba Vanga had a similar message to Villegas, Cayce and Nostradamus, but had a bright future for Russia. She predicted that when the permafrost thaws and the floods come, nothing will survive on Earth but the glory of Vladimir and Russia, the climate will change and Russia will occupy the best inhabitable zone.

    “Everything will melt away like ice yet the glories of Vladimir, the glory of Russia are the only things that will remain. Russia will not only survive, it will dominate the world.”

  • roflplatypus

    >Nostradamus on a space news website

  • Bryan See

    What “Nostradamus/Edgar Cayce/Baba Vanga/Horacio Villegas” on a space news website? What the hell do you mean?

    Anyway, Vladimir Putin got me banned from Wikipedia five years ago. BatteryIncluded used Russian active measures to get me banned. I’ve faced similar ones on Encyclopedia Dramatica, OhInternet and Know Your Meme.