Spanish minister says Russian space specialists ‘some of the best in the world’

Pedro Duque, Minister of Science and Innovations of Spain and the first Spanish astronaut, called Russian space industry specialists some of the best in the world.

“I witnessed […] these successes [of the Russian space industry], and hold Russian science and space industry in high regard,” he said in an interview for TASS. “I have many colleagues among Russian cosmonauts, cosmonaut instructors, […] I am acquainted with Zvezda and Energiya engineers, as well as some others, and, in my opinion, Russian professionals […] are some of the best in the world.”

The minister also told about cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian state corporation Roscosmos.

“Spanish scientists and companies participate in cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos,” Duque said. “At this point, this cooperation is particularly intensive in manned flights an the ExoMars joint scientific mission.”

Pedro Duque, 57, became a Spanish minister in 2018. He is the first Spanish astronaut. He took his first flight in the Discovery Space Shuttle in October 1998, while his second flight happened via Russian Soyuz rocket in October 2003. He has been awarded with Russia’s Order of Friendship.

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