Moscow Claims Venus to be ‘Planet Russia’
Windowofworld.com – The head of the Russian space agency makes territorial claims to the second planet from the sun, Venus, calling it “Planet Russia.” The claim comes amid scientific research showing that life can take place on Earth’s neighboring planet.
Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, this week said that Russia wanted to send its own mission to Venus, in addition to its already proposed joint venture with the United States, “Venera-D.” Rogozin has long been known for endorsing unconventional scientific views and frequently satirical anti-Western rhetoric.
“We think Venus is the Russian planet, so we should not be left behind,” the former deputy prime minister of Russia told reporters, as quoted by CBS, Thursday (17/9/2020).
He noted that the USSR was the first and only country to land a spacecraft on Venus.
“The spacecraft is gathering information about a planet – it is like a hell there,” he said in a statement cited by the Russian news agency Tass.
The research published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy details British and American scientists’ discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds around Venus, which are considered a potential sign of life on the planet.
The atmosphere of Venus is made up almost entirely of carbon dioxide, and is considered to be the hottest planet in our solar system.
The new study renewed public interest in Venus, possibly prompting Roscosmos’s head to remind the world of the Soviet Union’s achievements in its early space exploration.
The NASA Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly past Venus and measure its extreme surface temperatures in 1962. The USSR launched several “Venera” spacecraft, and in 1970 Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to successfully make landfall on planet before it melts in a few seconds.
Its successor, Venera 9, took the first, and only image to date, of landing on the surface of Venus from a ground level perspective.
“The huge gap between the USSR and its competitors in the Venus study contributed to the fact that the United States called Venus the ‘Soviet planet’,” the space agency wrote on its website on Tuesday.
Shortly after the study was published this week, the Breakthrough Initiatives program, supported by Russian-born billionaire Yuri Milner, announced that it would fund a study of the possibility of primitive life in the Venus cloud, led by Sara Seager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Last month, Rogozin said Venus was more attractive than Mars, showing that studying the planet could help scientists understand how to tackle climate change on Earth.