"It was not clear to me how the United States, at that level of technological development of the 60s of the last century, did what they still cannot do now?"
Rogozin a Stink
Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of Russia's space corporation Roscosmos, is no stranger to making head-scratching remarks.
The outspoken politician, who was sacked from his post as the director of the country's space program last year, is now taking to Telegram to cast doubt on the fact that NASA landed a dozen astronauts on the Moon over half a century ago, as spotted by Ars Technica.
According to his post, Rogozin asked Roscosmos during his tenure to provide him with "documentary evidence of the Americans' stay on the Moon."
Despite his best efforts, he says, he found no evidence at the time.
"It was not clear to me how the United States, at that level of technological development of the 60s of the last century, did what they still cannot do now?" he wrote.
Rogozin's comments are characteristically evocative and brazen, and demonstrate denialist conspiracy theories surrounding NASA's Apollo Moon landings that persist to this day.
Ironically, the Soviet Union even had a spacecraft of its own in orbit around the Moon while NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their historic first steps back in 1969, Ars points out, meaning that Russia has plenty of detailed data to corroborate the Moon landings, which are incredibly well documented overall.
That mountain of evidence clearly has not made enough of an impression on this particular member of Putin's inner circle, though.
Rogozin has made plenty of enemies over the years. Last year, he famously seemed to threaten to crash the International Space Station into the US.
During his tenure, he also maintained that Russia would soon abandon the station, despite the fact that the country later agreed to cooperate with its international partners until the station's demise in 2030.
He has also butted heads with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on a number of occasions.
"If I die under mysterious circumstances, it's been nice knowin ya," Musk tweeted last year after Rogozin told him he'd be held accountable for providing Ukrainian forces with Starlink internet terminals.
Now that Rogozin has been deployed to the front lines of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he's no longer in charge of the country's space program — which, given these latest remarks, is probably for the best.
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