The head of Russia’s space agency has said that Roscosmos wants to return to Venus and bring back soil samples and build spacecraft that will surpass Elon Musk’s rockets.

Last week America’s first crewed spaceship to fly to the International Space Station in nearly a decade returned safely to Earth, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We are making a methane rocket to replace the Soyuz-2,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with state news agency RIA Novosti.

He said it will be a reusable space complex, noting that it will be possible to use its first stage at least 100 times.

“Of course we are looking at what our American colleagues are doing,” said Rogozin. “But our engineers are trying to take a shortcut — not to repeat what our SpaceX colleagues are doing but surpass them.”

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