Roscosmos chief says that Venus is a Russian planet

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The FINANCIAL — This week, researchers announced that they have discovered traces of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. This is a gas produced almost exclusively on Earth by anaerobic microorganisms. Because of this, researchers suggested that life might exist on planet Venus. After this incident, the head of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin told reporters that Venus is a Russian planet.

The UK research was carried out by astronomer Jane Greaves of Wales’ Cardiff University and colleagues observed Venus using both the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile. On Earth, phosphine — a colourless gas that smells like garlic, or decaying fish — is naturally produced mainly by certain microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. It can also be released in small amounts from the breakdown of organic matter, or industrially synthesised in chemical plants. Despite the latest discovery, researchers have cautioned that life is only one possible explanation for the source of the phosphine — with further investigation needed, Daily Mail reported.

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin, who’s known for espousing unconventional scientific views said this week that Russia wants to send its own mission to Venus, in addition to an already-proposed joint venture with the United States called “Venera-D.” “We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn’t lag behind,” Rogozin, a former deputy prime minister, told reporters on Tuesday. He noted that the Soviet Union was “the first and the only one” to land a spacecraft on Venus, CBS News wrote.

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Rogozin is somewhat notorious for trolling. So it’s almost certain that he wasn’t declaring an actual territorial claim to the entire planet. Rogozin may have been lobbying knowing jab at NASA, which recently began soliciting bids for the first commercial off-world purchase of Moon rocks. NASA has long rejected the view that space is a global commons, instead of viewing off-world resources as up for grabs by anyone with the capability to get them. This policy has prompted accusations of space colonialism from Roscosmos officials, according to Gizmodo.

The Russians claim to have extensive material that suggests that some objects on the Venusian surface have changed places or could be alive, although these are hypotheses that have yet to be confirmed. The national project would be in addition to the “Venera-D” project that the Russians are working on with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Early reports suggested that Russia planned to cut all international partners on its Venus exploration project after Roscosmos said they would limit “international cooperation” in the Venera-D project. But later, Russian media reported that Roscosmos would launch a separate “national independent project” exploring Venus. NASA noted that they would like to send their specialists into space both on the new manned spacecraft from SpaceX and on Russian ships, but in a barter format, Euronews wrote.

Roscosmos stated that during several orbital missions and descent of stations to the planet’s surface, it was possible to obtain detailed information about the Venusian climate, soil, and atmospheric composition. The Soviet apparatus “Venera-13” still remains the record holder for the time of operation on the surface in the entire history – it transmitted a signal to Earth for 127 minutes.

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