Russian expansion? Venus appears to be a target

A false color composite of the planet Venus created by combining images taken using orange and ultraviolet spectral filters on the Mariner 10's imaging camera.


By STORM GIFFORD | New York Daily News | Published: September 19, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — Everybody wants to rule the world, claims Tears for Fears, but Russia has set its sights beyond Earth.

Dmitry Rogozin, the director of Roscosmos – a Russian-run cosmonaut and aerospace research corporation – indicated earlier this week that his nation is organizing an intragalactic mission to Venus, reported TASS.

"We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," asserted Rogozin. "Projects of Venus missions are included in the united government program of Russia's space exploration for 2021-2030."

The second planet from the sun, also referred to as Earth's twin, is – on a good day – a mere 25 million miles away. If the distance is a putoff, consider that the surface temperature is a balmy 900 degrees – hot enough to melt lead.

Rogozin's statement followed the revelation that the Earth gas known as phosphine had been detected in Venus' atmosphere.

The European Space Agency states Russians, and formerly the Soviets, are no strangers to Venus, having commenced significant planetary research in 1967.

"Russia has still preserved its unique expertise in designing and developing landing craft for Venus and continues to define scientific tasks for those craft," noted the agency on its website.

But Rogozin's claim of Russian ownership of Venus is off the mark.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 – originally drafted by the U.S., Soviet Union and U.K. – strictly forbids any country from staking claim to galactic entities.

"Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means," reads Article II of the pact.

Currently, 110 nations are party to the Outer Space Treaty, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.


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