The former head of Russia's space corporation Roscosmos and renowned ranter, Dmitry Rogozin, has taken time out from the invasion of Ukraine to share some conspiracy theories about the US Moon landings.
The ever-provocative politician took to Telegram to claim he asked for official proof of the NASA Moon landings in 1969 when he was deputy prime minister of Russia, but he apparently only received a copy of a book by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.
When President Vladimir Putin handed him the top position at Roscosmos in 2018, he asked again and was accused of undermining the “sacred cooperation with NASA.”
“I also received one angry call from a high-ranking official accusing me of ‘aggravating the international situation’ with my doubts,” he said.
“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?"
Looking at Rogozin’s dubious track record, it’s safe to say his latest flurry of incendiary comments is an attempt to sow disinformation and take advantage of prominent conspiracy theories.
A poll in 2020 found that almost half of Russians believe the 1969 lunar landings were a hoax orchestrated by the US government. This is despite the overwhelming evidence that shows the Moon landings weren't faked.
Rogozin is a notorious troll with an interesting view of reality, infamous for spouting outlandish statements designed to provoke and confuse.
In 2018, Rogozin replied to the discovery of phosphine in the upper atmosphere of Venus by suggesting that the planet was, in fact, the property of Russia.
“We believe that Venus is a Russian planet. Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” he said.
In response to sanctions that followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rogozin made repeated threats that Russia would pull out from the International Space Station (ISS), which he suggested could result in a deadly crash landing over the US, Europe, China, and India – but not Russia.
He even threatened to separate the Russian modules of the ISS and leave US astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei stranded in space. However, like many of his provocations, this turned out to be a hollow threat, and Roscosmos hurried to assure their international partners no one would be left behind.
Rogozin was fired from this position at Roscosmos in July 2022 and has since spent most of his time fanning the flames of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a since-removed Tweet, he said Russian needs to put “an end” to Ukraine “once and for all.” He added: “Ukraine is an existential threat to the Russian people, Russian history, Russian language, and Russian civilization.”
While his latest admission may seem like a bombshell revelation coming from the former head of a prominent space exploration organization, it would be foolish to take anything he says at face value.