Russian president Vladimir Putin hailed Elon Musk as an “outstanding person” and businessman whose SpaceX company had become a major player in the space transportation industry. The public praise for Elon Musk comes days after the US-based entrepreneur said that he refused a Ukrainian request last year to activate his Starlink satellite network in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol. The request was made with the aim to aid an attack on Russia’s fleet there. But Elon Musk said that he feared complicity in a “major” act of war.
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev took to X earlier this month to laud Elon Musk over that decision while Ukrainian politicians sharply criticised the businessman saying that he was “the last adequate mind in North America”.
Vladimir Putin while speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s far east did not refer to the Starlink incident. But when asked about the success of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company in launching rockets into space, he said, “As far as private business and Elon Musk is concerned… he is undoubtedly an outstanding person. This must be recognised, and I think it is recognised all over the world.”
“He (Musk) is an active and talented businessman and he is succeeding a lot, including with the support of the American state,” Putin added.
The Russian leader also said that Moscow planned to persevere with its own space programme despite the failure of a mission to the Moon last month. Luna-25, Russia’s first moon mission in 47 years, failed on August 19 when it spun out of control and crashed into the moon.
The US national aeronautics and space administration’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter (LRO) spacecraft imaged a new crater on the surface of the moon. It said that the crater was the likely the impact site of Russia’s Luna 25 mission.
“The new crater is about 10 meters in diameter. Since this new crater is close to the Luna-25 estimated impact point, the LRO team concludes it is likely to be from that mission, rather than a natural impactor,” NASA said.