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Russia’s Space Agency Just Claimed Venus Is A Russian Planet

by : Lucy Connolly on : 18 Sep 2020 13:57
Russia's Space Agency Just Claimed Venus Is A Russian PlanetPA Images/NASA

You know that one person who always claims to have been at the centre of something just to seem impressive?

Or even worse, that they’re somehow responsible for something incredible happening? Well, cast your minds back to earlier this week, if you can, when scientists revealed that signs of alien life had been detected on Venus after discovering traces of microbes in the atmosphere that suggest the ‘presence of life’.

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Unsurprisingly, the person we just mentioned wants to get in on the action now the planet is interesting again. Except this time, that ‘person’ is an entire country, with Russia now claiming ownership of Venus.

NASA Venus VolcanoesNASA

Following the recent discovery, which suggested there is potentially life in the planet’s atmosphere, the head of Russia’s space agency has said Venus is a ‘Russian planet’.

The bizarre claim was made by Roscosmos’s director general Dmitry Rogozin on Tuesday, September 15, during the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition in Moscow, with Rogozin claiming the Soviet Union was the first country to send a probe to Venus.

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He added that once there, the country found surface temperatures of around 450°C, hot enough to melt lead, adding: ‘Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus. The spacecraft gathered information about the planet – it is like hell over there.’

VenusPA Images

Rogozin didn’t stop there though, with his next claim the boldest of all. ‘We believe that Venus is a Russian planet,’ he stated, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

It comes less than a week after an international team of astronomers, led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, announced the discovery of phosphine gas in Venus’s clouds.

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Phosphine gas is produced on Earth by microbes, and as far as we know phosphine can only be made by life – whether human or microbe – suggesting colonies of living microbes have been living in an oxygen-free environment in Venus’s atmosphere.

The astronomers hadn’t expected to find anything of the sort during their research, with Professor Greaves telling Sky News the experiment was simply one of ‘pure curiosity’.

Signs Of Alien Life Detected On VenusNASA

‘I thought we’d just be able to rule out extreme scenarios, like the clouds being stuffed full of organisms,’ she explained. ‘When we got the first hints of phosphine in Venus’s spectrum, it was a shock!’

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After the study’s publication on Monday, Breakthrough Initiatives – a programme funded by Israeli-Russian tech billionaire Yuri Milner – announced its plan to fund a further study ‘into the possibility of primitive life’ in Venus’s clouds.

Further to that, Rogozin also announced on Tuesday that Roscosmos intends to independently explore Venus to study the planet’s atmosphere and soil, along with the ‘evolutionary processes of Venus’.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Russia, Science, Space

Credits

VICE and 2 others
  1. VICE

    'Venus Is a Russian Planet,' Says Russia

  2. Sky News

    Signs of alien life detected on Venus

  3. TASS

    Russia plans to send mission to Venus