Tesla’s Musk: Building a Better Astronaut ‘Trampoline?’

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. known as SpaceX, during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. known as SpaceX, during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Threatened retaliation is the stuff of cold wars.

In the international debate over sanctions against Russia — with the Obama administration more eager than European leaders to ratchet up the pressure — the interdependence of those nations formerly known as the Group of Eight is one of the economic complications.

“After analysing the sanctions against our space industry I suggest the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin has written at TwitLonger.  “US Lets Down Its ISS Astronauts By Sanctions Against Russian Space Programme.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea “is being cited in Washington as a reason to do everything from building an oil pipeline to accelerating private space flight and even boosting the export of liquefied natural gas,” Bloomberg’s Brian Wingfield has reported.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who owns Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that U.S. dependence on Russian-made rocket engines poses supply risks. Musk’s SpaceX , whose Falcon9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft has serviced the International Space Station, wants to transport American astronauts to the station, a ride now provided by Russia. 

“It’s just kind of embarrassing that the United States has to thumb rides with the Russians,” Musk, also chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), said in a Bloomberg Television interview in March.

The Russian deputy prime minister may have given Musk a new opening.

Building a better trampoline.

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