Action reaction. After the historic takeoff on Saturday in Florida of a rocket from the private company SpaceX to the ISS with two American astronauts on board, Russia promised on Sunday May 31 to continue its space and lunar program in 2020.

"We do not intend to remain inactive. This year we will test two new rockets and next year we will resume our lunar program," spokesman for the Russian space agency Roskosmos reacted on Twitter. , Vladimir Oustimienko.

These comments from the Russian space agency come after the American takeoff, which ended a nine-year Russian monopoly on manned flights to the International Space Station.

Roskosmos boss Dmitri Rogozin said on Saturday that Russia is planning a test launch of a heavy Angara rocket in the fall, supposed to replace the aging Proton launchers, but which are developing very slowly.

He also said that Russia is accelerating the development of its intercontinental ballistic missile Sarmat intercontinental, presented as supposed to overcome all kinds of missile defense systems.

To do without Soyuz vessels to go to the ISS

Since 2011 and the end of the American space shuttle program, the sending of American astronauts on the ISS could only be carried out on Russian Soyuz vessels.

According to specialists, Roskosmos bills instead 80 million dollars, a significant windfall for the space agency with an annual budget of about 2 billion dollars.

Roskosmos said on Sunday that the United States still needs Russia. "It is really important to have at least two options for getting to the station. Because you never know ..." said Vladimir Oustimienko.

A source of immense pride during Soviet times, the Russian space sector has encountered serious difficulties since the fall of the USSR in 1991. The past few years have been marked by several corruption scandals and a series of failed launches, including one concerned a manned flight, fortunately without consequence for the two astronauts who had been able to eject.

With AFP

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