President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft (Reuters)

Russia’s space agency has chimed in to wish Nasa congratulations for the successful SpaceX launch over the weekend.

But it also took a swipe at Donald Trump’s ‘hysteria’ over the launch which delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from US soil for the first time in years.

The successful launch from Florida will end the US dependency on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

President Trump, who was in Florida to observe the launch, said the US had now regained its place as the world’s leader in space, that US astronauts would soon land on Mars and that America would possess ‘the greatest weapons ever imagined in history.’

Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, has been beset with scandals and a number of malfunctions in recent years. But it has still been able to launch humans to outer space – and charge the US a significant fee for doing so.

‘The hysteria raised after the successful launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is hard to understand,’ Vladimir Ustimenko, a spokesman for Roscosmos, wrote on Twitter after citing Trump’s statement.

The launch was the first to fly astronauts from American soil since 2011 (Picture: AP)

‘What has happened should have happened long ago. Now it’s not only the Russians flying to the ISS, but also the Americans. Well that’s wonderful!’

‘It is very important to have at least two possibilities to reach the station. After all, it’s not enough … Everything happened in space, and you must have at least two transport systems capable of ensuring the presence of crews of different countries on board the ISS.’

Moscow has said previously that it is also deeply worried about what it fears are US plans to deploy weapons in space.

Moscow would not be sitting idly by, Ustimenko said.

‘..We are not going to rest on our laurels either. We will test two new rockets this year, and next year we will resume our lunar programme. It will be interesting,’ said Ustimenko.





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