Rogozin Has Nice Things to Say About Crew Dragon, Musk

Editor’s Note: Rogozin’s Twitter account is limited to approved followers, not the general public. The Kremlin has appointed a minder over at Roscosmos to tamp down on the general director’s public comments.

My guess is that after the dust up over Roscosmos’ tweet after Crew Dragon docked, someone (Putin?) talked to (yelled at?) Rogozin and made sure he (his political minder?) made sure something nice was tweeted for the landing.

  • 76 er

    Yes, question marks abound over their entire space program

  • duheagle

    The initial reaction from such types is always the real one. Later messages reflect second thoughts, caution kicking in or the results of a dressing-down by superiors.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Looking into Russia’s future, they’re going to come to the decision whether to do with Soyuz what we did with Shuttle. Retire Soyuz to have cash on hand to develop something next. Their best and most affordable bet will be to buy rides on Dragon 2 while whatever comes next is developed. Why waste money going with Boeing when I’m sure the ride with them will be much more expensive.

  • 76 er

    I don’t see them buying any spaceflight services from here, period. They were happy accepting those checks from NASA but in my opinion they won’t be sending money back the other way.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The Russians are putting themselves more and more into a corner with unrealistic ‘ways out’. At some point they’ll have to either give up on manned spaceflight or make a real world compromise. By the time they have to make their decision, Space X will be flying customers on Crew Dragons for some time. Boeing maybe too. Those options will be just sitting there, and from their POV they’ll be in the moral clear to do it, since the Americans outsourced while ‘they’ reconstituted their manned program.

  • 76 er

    With someone else in charge you’d be making a good case. However Mr. Rogozin has shown himself to be a pugnacious, bombastic and stiff-necked individual with a marked antipathy to the U.S. Putin probably keeps him there at Roscosmos for that very reason.

    I think Roscosmos will quietly retire Soyuz and cobble something together out of their currently existing projects. Since they own the media they’ll be able to triumphantly present it to the Russian public.

    In any event whatever they choose to do will be interesting to see.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Knowing the Russians they will just get NASA to pay for the seats in exchange for supporting the Gateway or some activity needed to keep the ISS in orbit. That is the basic problem with these international space ventures, Uncle Sam is expected to pay most of the bills…

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    They’ll try if they see a venue for sure. Politics has always been about self enrichment and self aggrandizement. If you want allies, you buy them by one means or another. It will always be one of the things you as a great power have to do. If you don’t want to live in an American world anymore, we can just stop. Then you can sit back and watch while your grand kids start taking Chinese language classes and enjoy the show when their kids are fretting about Chinese illiteracy in American society getting in the way of doing business here at home. That foreigners think we’re jerks for pushing them around is nothing compared to what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a powerful imperial culture. If you’re not willing to pay the price, the Chinese are sitting right on stage left ready to fill in the vacuum you and your ilk want to create.

  • duheagle

    The plan has long been that, once the CC vehicles start carrying people, we would take a Russkie up on every one of our crew vehicles and the Russkies would do likewise with one of ours on every Soyuz – with no money going in either direction. So far as I know, that’s still the official NASA plan.

    I, personally, would rather that no Americans ever again ride a rickety rattletrap Russkie rocket. And I’m not only not opposed to hauling up Russkies on our ships, I think we should make the offer to do so, without any “barter” required. If the Russkies don’t want to take us up on that offer – given the strong implication of space mendicancy it would carry – I’m fine with that too.

    But Soyuz is the least expensive and most reliable – even with recent failures – rocket the Russkies have left. Frankly, killing Angara and Soyuz 2 and concentrating on improving the legacy Soyuz’s quality of build would be the best and cheapest approach the Russkies could take to maintaining a toehold on manned space activity. The Russkies simply haven’t the money even to finish what development programs they still have on their plate, never mind starting anything new.

  • duheagle

    No, they won’t. NASA won’t ask. Too bad about that as doing so, and being turned down, would result in what I’d most like to see happen – Western astronauts going to and from ISS exclusively on CC vehicles and Russkies doing likewise only on Soyuz.

  • duheagle

    Long-term, there is no “way out” for Russia. It’s a country in terminal decline and the rate of decay of its space program is exceeding the general rate of decay of the country as a whole. Much of the foreign money keeping their space program even fitfully in play has already gone away, another large chunk is due to disappear quite shortly and most of the rest will follow in about three more years.

    The best the Russkies can do is try to make the existing Soyuz system more reliable. All their other efforts seemed doomed to failure or debilitating schedule stretch-outs that amount to the same thing in slow motion. “Reconstituting” its manned program is simply not a realistic option. I expect Russian manned space activity to effectively end with the decommissioning of ISS, whenever that takes place.

  • duheagle

    As a major non-fan of Russia, I hope you are correct as going that route is likely to exhaust the tattered remnant of the Russian manned space program even more quickly than otherwise.

  • duheagle

    Sadly, you may prove correct about that. We need to cut off the NASA welfare checks to Russia, but old habits are often hard to break.

  • duheagle

    The Russians are not now, and will not in any foreseeable likely future, be “allies” of the United States. They are certainly not deserving of any payments. Paying enemies is just dumb. Russia, in coming decades, will increasingly constitute a “vacuum” of its own making.

    If the U.S. wants to pay a long-term useful ally against both Russia and China, the obvious choice is India. China is hardly the inevitable new master of the world. It has already hit a rough patch and there is an extended stretch of Class 5 whitewater still to come. The current Chinese regime certainly wishes its nation to become a “powerful imperial culture,” but the Soviet regime thought the same in the mid- and late-70’s. China’s fate is likely to be similar. India, in contrast, faces no challenges political, economic or demographic remotely comparable to those now staring China squarely in the face.

    A century hence, it is far likelier that Hindi, not Mandarin, will be the dominant non-English language in the world. I suspect a lot of those trendy-left parents on L.A.’s West Side now sending their kids to Mandarin classes are going to be in for some hard looks and sharp words over holiday meals a decade or two hence.

  • 76 er

    When financing the Sochi Winter Olympics the news was that Putin “shook down” some of the oligarchs for cash. If no money was forthcoming, he’d set the FSB on ’em. Or so the story went, who knows what really goes on over there, but the global sporting event did take place. Somebody paid for it. I would speculate that the funds for a Russian next-gen spacecraft in a similar manner will become available.

    I too dislike the Russian regime (and try to disassociate those few tyrants from the rest of the populace – the working stiffs who need to earn a living) but sooner or later they’ll get something flying cosmonauts that’s not named Soyuz.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Yes I agree, modernizations of the Soyuz complex is their best bet for a total in house solution. Every year I expect them to roll that program out, but it’s not happened yet.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Russia is cyclic WRT their leadership style. As their population shrinks they’ll become a more unique country from the point of view of resources per capita. At some point Russia will try homesteading their own nation. Their capability of playing that game is considerable and the more they dive into economic ruin with their current model, the more compelling pioneering their own vast land holdings will become.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The secret to China’s success is the American business sector. The Cold War would have been different if US industry was paid by the USSR to be transferred there in exchange for paper money. Lenin wanted to try that, but we have Russian paranoia and Stalin to thank for self isolating their economy. Many of China’s shortcomings due to their system are masked out by assistance from the Americans. I assure you the American business sector will assist the Chinese displacement of the United States as long as the cash does not stop. In fact, they’ll do it even even after because business practice will have become viewed as impossible without Chinese ‘expertise’ that’s not available here in the US and will be viewed as alien at the prospect of doing the mundane like manufacturing fasteners.

    As for India becoming powerful and culturally imperial they’d just use English as it’s already their link language. Ever read high end Indian literature written in English? They put us to shame. Their educated elite carry a better command of our own language than we do. If they went imperial it might be the best thing for the future of the English language.

  • redneck

    I think you might have an idea of a way out there, although it is a multiple decade instead of a change in management time frame. If people can get out and homestead, it might be possible to get a percent of the population that is used to individualism that is not part of the state. The way I see it, the problems Russia faces are deep seated throughout the population. Not bad people, but people influenced by bad memes.

    For a parallel in the US, look at the poisonous attitude fostered by shady ambulance chasing lawyers. (I know they don’t actually, but the result is the same) If there wasn’t a substantial population looking for a quick buck regardless of morality, there would be no work for the shady ones. As it is, the “sue the bastards” meme causes considerable damage to everyone in this country. Changing insurance commissioners wouldn’t eliminate the poison because it is too wide spread.

    That is a portion of the way I view the problems in Russia. A lot of people have learned to not trust management while at the same time working the system as best they can. It would take new management decades to work through the ingrained attitudes.

    It is still possible that some limited sectors might be able to insulate to some degree. The brains and talent are there, it is the trust and motivation that I see as an issue. Even limited resources can go a long way when well handled.

  • Arthur Hamilton

    soyuz is a safe reliable cheap leo transport for russia. they aren’t going to retire it.

  • duheagle

    That’s because doing so would:

    1) Constitute an implied admission that they actually have problems.

    2) Constitute an implied admission that they are not actually an especially consequential nation anent space anymore. Actual space-consequential nations, like the U.S., China, India, Japan and the nations of ESA, can do new things in space. They don’t have to settle for just patching their hand-me-downs.

  • duheagle

    Putin has his priorities; those get his attention. Space has never seemed to be much of a priority for him. He’s like a lot of past U.S. presidents in that respect. So I’m not nearly so confident that Putin would ever squeeze the other oligarchs for space, per se. He’ll save doing that for things he finds more important. On the evidence available, that would seem to be just about anything else.

  • duheagle

    Russia isn’t “cyclic” at all anent their “leadership” style – it’s been tyranny after tyranny for the last thousand years. All Russia’s rapidly shrinking population is going to buy is an earlier end to delusions of being able to keep all that sparsely-populated, resource-rich land in Siberia.

    Russia won’t “homestead” it – Russians have been trained for the last millennium to be nervous depressives who avoid initiative like the plague.

    If the then-Russian tyrant is smart three or four decades hence, he’ll do what the Czar did in 1867 – sell off an “asset” it cannot take useful advantage of to some other nation that can – that would be post-PRC China – in return for much-needed cash.

    If the then-Russian tyrant is a belligerent, short-sighted fool in the Putin mold, he’ll try to hang onto Siberia after the Chinese quit making nice offers and start issuing ultimatums instead. Then he’ll lose it anyway in a short, nasty little war that will further diminish the Russian population and leave it a small European rump – assuming the Chinese don’t simply occupy and annex the whole place out of pique.

  • duheagle

    Homesteading is alien to the Russian experience. Most of its population has, historically, been serfs rooted to particular pieces of land. Pioneering is about as alien to such a mindset as anything else one could imagine.

    Fostering homesteads also runs very much against the grain of the traditional Russian “leadership” style – boot-on-the-neck tyranny. Pushing a lot of serfs into the wilderness to shift for themselves beyond the effective control of the State is simply unimaginable to the kinds of sociopaths who rise to the top in Russia. Why, if those serfs don’t simply die, en masse, they might get the idea they don’t really need the State anymore – can’t have that!

  • duheagle

    American business isn’t nearly so credulous where China is concerned as it once was. That’s especially so now that Trump has largely fixed the perverse tax structure that encouraged much of the most maladaptive business behavior in the first place. Plus, the Chinese demographic collapse has now begun to bite and the state-owned sector of its economy, which has been sucking up all that new wealth generated over the last four decades, is still as bankrupt and non-performing as ever. China is in for an extended run of hard times. One hopes that the major positive outcome of all this now-inevitable sturm und drang is the collapse and liquidation of the PRC as a government.

    And there is still plenty of manufacturing taking place in the U.S. Even fasteners. Aerospace fastener manufacturing never decamped overseas. I live in So. CA. There are dozens of specialty fastener makers around here.

    As for the Indians, it is certainly true that most of their better-off citizens speak, read and write English – or British, anyway. I would be delighted to see English become the dominant language in India as more and more of her citizenry achieve educated middle-class status, but I think Hindi is likely to persist even if a lot of other Indian regional languages fall out of use.

    As for cultural “imperalism” on India’s part, that is already long underway. Indian religious ideas like karma and reincarnation have longstanding beachheads in N. America, especially among people of your general political persuasion where they are even normative among many who also fancy themselves atheists. Among American leftists, “atheism” is a code word meaning “not Judeo-Christian.”

    Other aspects of culture have lagged behind, but are catching up. Bollywood is very much on the American pop-culture radar now with many of its major stars – the female ones, anyway – now well-established in American show business.

    Indian literature in English isn’t yet a commonplace here. Your judgement of its quality relative to American literature may well be correct, but, if so, only owing to the degraded and tediously left-wing nature of so much of what passes for American literature these days. That and the general tendency of the American academy to be overly impressed with the more formal style in which much British-derived English literature is composed.

  • redneck

    I was going with Andrews’ concept of allowing homesteading sometime in the future. Not sending serfs, but allowing the fraction of individuals that are willing to risk it the opportunity to try. Even 1% per generation that moves on could become the frontier model that would affect the rest of the country. I agree unlikely, I don’t agree impossible. Russian immigrants to the US have done quite well.

    Not that I know how it could get to the point of the Russian government trying it.

  • duheagle

    Yes, Russian immigrants have often done well here in the U.S., even the criminals. That’s because they’re in the U.S. now, not Russia, and had the audacity to leave Mother Russia in the first place. Unless Russia once again forbids emigration, that’s what will siphon off the small percentage of Russians who might otherwise be well-suited for homesteading. But having to stay in Russia by order of the “Czar” isn’t going to act as an incentive to homestead in harsh wilderness. That’s especially so if one knows in advance that, even if one is successful, the only likely result is having your hard-won gains summarily expropriated and handed to some favored oligarch or other.

  • publiusr

    So sad.