Russian space chief vague on moon outpost plans

September 22, 2018 - 7:43 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's space agency chief has made an opaque statement about its involvement in the NASA-led plan to build an outpost near the moon, but officials clarified that Russia is staying in the project.

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Saturday that Russia wouldn't accept a "second-tier" role in the NASA-led project to build the lunar orbital platform called the Gateway in the 2020s.

Rogozin noted that Russia was working to develop heavy-lift rockets that would allow it to build its own orbital platform near the moon, possibly in cooperation with some BRICS countries — a grouping that includes Brazil, China, India and South Africa along with Russia.

Roscosmos quickly clarified that Rogozin didn't mean to say Russia was bailing out of the NASA-led project, according to the Tass news agency.