Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rozogin in a bizarre statement laid claims to the planet “Venus” – and this has triggered some controversy around the world.
The space agency ‘Roscosmos’ chief made the statement while addressing the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition, and said that prior research by Russian scientists had claimed that there could be no life possible on the planet.
In a new study by the British and American scientists published in the Nature Astronomy journal on Monday, scientists claimed to have found traces of phosphine gas in Venus’ clouds and that one of the possible causes for it could be the presence of extraterrestrial life.
“Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus,” Rogozin said. “The [Russian] spacecraft gathered information about the planet — it is like hell over there.”
During Soviet times, the Russian space agency had started a number of Venus exploration missions, under the program “Venera”. Ten probes managed to make successful landings on Venus, which provided information about the planet in great detail.
However, the probes could only survive a very short time on the planetary surface, due to the harsh and highly corrosive atmospheric conditions of Venus.
According to a Russian news agency The Moscow Times, Roscosmos also announced plans Tuesday to launch an independent Russian expedition to Venus “without involving wide international cooperation.”
The expedition will take place in addition to the previously planned Venera-D mission, which is being carried out in cooperation with the United States.
It also became known that the Breakthrough Initiatives program funded by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced a study to find the possibilities of primitive life on Venus’ surface and its clouds, led by Sara Seager from the Massachusets Institute of Technology.