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Vladimir Putin fires Russia’s space chief Dmitry Rogozin, who trolled Elon Musk and astronaut Scott Kelly

Dmitry Rogozin sparred with Elon Musk and astronaut Scott Kelly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Associated Press

  • Dmitry Rogozin has been fired as Russia’s space chief, the Kremlin announced on Friday.
  • The dismissal follows a new agreement between NASA and Roscosmos to integrate ISS flights.
  • Rogozin has had public spats with Elon Musk and astronaut Scott Kelly in recent months.

Dmitry Rogozin has been fired as Russia’s space chief by Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin announced on Friday, following months of acrimony with NASA and other Western figures. 

Rogozin was removed as the chief of Roscosmos after four years in the role. The Kremlin did not give a reason for his dismissal, but it follows a new agreement between NASA and Roscosmos to integrate flights to the International Space Station (ISS).

Yuriy Borisov was announced as Rogozin’s replacement after recently being dismissed as deputy prime minister.

Tensions have flared between Western and Russian space organisations since Putin invaded Ukraine in February. 

Rogozin has battled his opponents on Twitter, trading insults with astronaut Scott Kelly in March, when he claimed Kelly needed a brain examination after he told Rogozin to get a job at McDonald’s. 

The former space chief also said Elon Musk should be held accountable for sending Starlink satellites to help Ukraine in the early days of the invasion. Musk proceeded to joke that he might “die under mysterious circumstances.”

The relationship between NASA and Roscosmos is seen as vital to safe space exploration, given the partnership developed over the years on the ISS by the US and Russia. 

Roscosmos incrementally boosts the ISS to keep it in orbit. Rogozin previously threatened to send the space station crashing into the US or Europe if Russia was hit by sanctions.

Russia also signaled its intention to pull out of the ISS altogether in April due to the sanctions.

Last week, NASA rebuked Roscosmos after Russian astronauts flew separatist flags on the ISS in support of Russia’s invasion. 

Astronaut Kelly appeared to revel in Rogozin’s dismissal, suggesting in a tweet that Rogozin get a job at Russia’s rebranded McDonald’s restaurant called “Tasty and That’s It.”

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