Russian cosmonauts could travel armed to space since 2021


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SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (Sputnik) – The Russian cosmonaut's survival kit could re-incorporate firearms by 2021, Roscosmos space agency director Dmitri Rogozin estimated.

"The weapons are already being tested and could be re-included in the cosmonaut kit within a year and a half, by 2021," he told reporters after attending a scientific forum in St. Petersburg.

The head of Roscosmos explained that at the Voenmeh Baltic Technical University he was shown a "multi-cannon gun that can help scare wild animals, get food, (shoot) flares, among other things to get the attention of emergency services."

"We had these types of weapons (but) we don't have them now. Since the manned missions are going to be transferred to the Vostochni cosmodrome (located in the middle taiga of the Russian Far East), this could mean that the ships land in that area. The cosmonauts they ask that their equipment include a modern version of those weapons to be able to throw flares or have a weapon for emergencies in the forest, "Rogozin explained.

A source from Roscosmos previously told Sputnik that the space agency is considering returning to include pistols in the equipment of cosmonauts and that this option could materialize by 2025.

The head of the Russian cosmonaut group, Oleg Kononenko, supported the initiative, arguing that space travelers may need a gun if they land in a place where wild animals live.

Before 2007, Russian cosmonauts carried a gun in all space missions. From the time of Yuri Gagarin and until 1986, it was a Makarov pistol and from 1986 to 2006 it was a special three-gun TP-82 gun.

The TP-82 was designed after in 1965 cosmonauts Alexéi Leónov and Pável Beliáev landed emergency and spent two days in the taiga (Siberian forest), in the middle of winter.

Since 2007 cosmonauts travel to space without firearms.

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