Moscow (AFP)

"The trampoline works": Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX who sent two astronauts to space on Saturday, replied to the boss of the Russian space agency who mocked six years ago for the American incapacity to conduct manned space flights.

In a period of tension between the two countries, when Moscow threatened to interrupt space cooperation with Washington, Dmitri Rogozin had said in 2014 that American astronauts may well need a "trampoline" to join the ISS.

"The trampoline works," joked Elon Musk on Sunday at a press conference alongside NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine after the successful launch of a rocket from his company SpaceX.

"It's a joke between us," added the 48-year-old entrepreneur as the two men laughed.

The allusion ignited the Russian social networks, many Internet "memes" and jokes ridiculing Dmitri Rogozin being published. The name of the boss of the Russian space agency has even become "trendy" on Twitter in Russia.

The phenomenon even forced the spokesperson for the boss of the Russian space agency to break his silence. "We don't really understand the hysteria triggered by the successful launch of the Crew Dragon capsule," Vladimir Oustimenko said on Twitter.

"What should have happened a long time ago has happened," he added.

The successful launch of the SpaceX rocket can be seen as a blow to Russia, which was previously the only country able to send men on the ISS since 2011 and the termination of the American space shuttle program.

© 2020 AFP