Russia’s state-owned space corporation Roscosmos has brushed off the significance Elon Musk’s successful launch of a reusable rocket toward Mars carrying a red Tesla.
Although the upstart billionaire’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch on Tuesday was seen as a landmark moment in space exploration, the reaction in Russia was more ambivalent.
“I don’t know if this is a conspiracy or not, but in fact it’s a very good trick,” Roscosmos spokesman Igor Burenkov said about the launch in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Thursday.
Burenkov suggested that Musk had sent the Tesla Roadster into space as a “promotional act” timed ahead of the electric car company’s board meeting this spring.
“The meeting is soon, so they need to adjust their business somehow. Things are bad for Tesla, after all. Everyone knows that,” he said.
His conjecture was at least partly backed up Wednesday when Tesla posted is largest quartlerly loss in history for the last three months of 2017, CNN reported.
Burenkov reiterated Russia’s plans to plant its flag on the moon by 2030 and vowed that Russia would have its own super-heavy launcher by 2028.
“No need to get upset. We have something to be proud of and we will have something to be proud of in the future,” he told Ekho Moskvy.