MOSCOW: The Head of Russian space corporation Dmitry Rogozin says it’s time to arm cosmonauts. Apparently, Russia is testing a gun that cosmonauts could use to ward off wild animals when they land in remote areas. This is essential as crewed launches move to Russia’s Far East.
‘It’s possible that landings will also be in this area, which is not populated, with forest and forest-steppe, and cosmonauts are saying that it would be good to have (a weapon) in the kit,’ Rogozin says.
The Roscosmos head said that the weapon is already being tested and will likely become a part of the cosmonaut gear in 18 months.
‘It would be for crew support in terms of being able to fire flare signals as well as in terms of a weapon that may be needed in a wild forest,’ Rogozin told TASS news agency.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenkov, who recently returned from an ISS mission, agreed with Rogozin’s proposal: ‘It’s possible that it’s rough terrain, that we may need a special knife to build shelter, and perhaps we need a weapon, because of wild animals.’
Starting in the 1980s, the cosmonaut kit included three-barrel pistol with a concealed machete. That weapon had been removed in 2007.