Skip to content

Elon Musk’s Relationship with Russia

Elon Musk's Relationship with Russia

Elon Musk has engaged in a verbal spat with a top Russian official after challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin to a fight over the fate of Ukraine. Amidst all this, Trug Phan, at SatPost a Saturday round-up of the funniest memes and tweets, goes through some Elon Musk-Russia history. In 2001, Musk flew to Moscow to acquire 3 repurposed intercontinental ballistic missiles for $7m each, but the deal never happened “and out of the failure Musk launched SpaceX,” Phan writes Initially, in May 2001- before PayPal was acquired by eBay Elon had a conversation with a U Penn friend named Adeo Ressi. They discussed the prospects of launching a space project. To get the idea off the ground, Musk cold-called a Cold War rocket expert named Jim Cantrell.

Musk’s trip to Russia in 2001

Through Cantrell’s network, the team started “shopping” for rockets. The group flew to Moscow looking to buy 3 repurposed ICBMs for $7m each. After 2 visits to Russia, the final insult was on the 3rd trip. Musk had the funds ready but the Russians changed the price from $21m for 3 rockets to $21m for each rocket.

Liftoff for SpaceX

  • In March 2002, after the Russians told Musk to kick rocks, SpaceX was incorporated.
  • In Sept 2008, after 3 failed launches for the Falcon 1 Rocket, SpaceX became “the first privately built liquid-fuelled booster to reach orbit.”
  • In July 2011, NASA sent its final space shuttle to orbit and shut down the US space shuttle program. This left it completely dependent on Russia to ferry astronauts to the ISS since the Russian spaceport was the only facility operating crewed flights outside of China.
  • In 2014, Musk took note of this, commenting that it was unfeasible to pay $70 million per seat to the Russians just to go to the ISS.
  • In 2014, after Russia was sanctioned for annexing Crimea, the Russian space chief Rogozin said “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline.”
  • Musk’s response 6 years later, when SpaceX successfully sent the first American launched crew in a decade, was “the trampoline is working.”
Don't Forget to Share!
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
iPage site builder banner
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x