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Elon Musk invites family of famed Soviet rocket scientist to tour SpaceX

(Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur and founder of aerospace company SpaceX, has invited the family of famed Soviet rocket scientist Sergei Korolyov to visit his operations in the United States.

Musk tweeted on July 10 that he had spoken with the Korolyov family, adding that the Soviet scientist was “one of the very best” in his field.

Andrei Korolyov, the grandson of the scientist, told Russian media on July 11 that the family had written to Musk shortly after the successful launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship to the International Space Station at the end of May.

The launch ended Russia’s decade-long monopoly on travel to the space station and was the first by a private company.

Musk later spoke with the Korolyov family for about 20 minutes via videoconference, Andrei Korolyov said.

Andrei Korolyov said Musk invited the family to visit his SpaceX factory and observe a space launch once coronavirus travel restrictions have ended.

In an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets on May 31, the day after the Dragon Crew launch, Andrei Korolyov said he was “very happy” for Musk and SpaceX and “proud” of the American’s achievement.

He said at the time that Russia should also allow private aerospace companies to be involved in all aspects of the industry and not leave everything to the control of Roskosmos, the state space agency.

In the same interview, he criticized Roskosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin for saying in 2014 that the United States should use a trampoline to reach the International Space Station. Rogozin made the comments after Washington imposed sanctions on him.

“Everyone who read and saw that was embarrassed,” Andrei Korolyov told Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Following the successful launch of the Crew Dragon, Musk, in a troll of Rogozin, retorted that “the trampoline is working.”

Sergei Korolyov, the father of the Soviet space program, was largely responsible for the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first satellite.

Andrei Korolyov, who lives in Moscow, is a professor and medical doctor focusing on sports injuries.