Elon Musk hit out at Dimitry Rogozin following the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon last week as the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur restarted an old feud. On Saturday, SpaceX launched two Americans into orbit from Florida en route to the International Space Station (ISS), a landmark mission that ended Russia’s monopoly on flights there. NASA has had to rely on Russia’s rockets to ferry astronauts to and from the space station.
Mr Musk told a post-launch news conference “the trampoline is working” in a thinly-veiled joke at Russia’s Roscosmos.
It referred to what a 2014 Twitter post by Mr Rogozin, who was deputy prime minister at the time, said about NASA.
He wrote on the social media site: “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline.”
But this wasn’t the last of it.
Mr Musk’s rebuttal to the trampoline comment has been met by further animosity as Mr Rogozin took to Twitter once again.
Following the successful docking of Crew Dragon, he wrote: “Dear Jim Bridenstine, it’s safe to congratulate you at this point with a successful launch and docking. Bravo!
“I know how anxious you were for this major event to become a success. I wish NASA team to successfully finish up reconstructing its national space transportation system to the ISS.
“Please convey my sincere greetings to Elon Musk (I loved his joke) and SpaceX team.”
It comes as Mr Musk said he was “overcome with emotion” after NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley launched into space.
He said: “I think this is something that should really get people right in the heart – anyone who has a spirit of exploration.”
He added: “I am really quite overcome with emotion – it’s kind of hard to talk really.
“It’s been 18 years working towards this goal. It’s really hard to believe that it’s happened.
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“This is a craft made by humans, for humans, I think it’s something humanity should be proud about occurring on this day.”
The Falcon 9 took off on Saturday at 8.22pm UK time from the Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The mission, named Demo-2, marks the first time Nasa has launched astronauts from US soil in nine years.
SpaceX also made history by becoming first private company to send humans into orbit.
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