The SpaceX CEO launched his Tesla Roadster into space in 2018 during a Falcon Heavy test flight. But Tomsk-based start-up, ToSky, replicated Dmitry Rogozin red Lada car to gather data that will enable vessels to “spend more time in the stratosphere”. While Mr Musk had a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit in the drivers seat last year, the group used a cut out of Mr Rogozin, head of Russia’s space agency.
The group shared the video and said: “We sent Rogozin into near space.”
The toy car was launched on June 2 and drifted through the sky for up to 16 hours before safely landing back on Earth.
The project’s author added it was the longest stratosat flight in the countries of the former Soviet Union since 2013, according to the Moscow Times.
Mr Rogozin has previously clashed with Mr Musk as the pair do not get on.
READ MORE: Elon Musk’s Starlink: The hidden agenda behind SpaceX’s space internet
Russia accused Mr Musk of colluding with the Pentagon to keep Russia out of space travel, by pricing them out of the market.
Mr Rogozin claimed Mr Musk deliberately undercut rocket launch prices to “squeeze Russia out of this market”.
He added the US Department of Defence “pays him on average $150million for every launch”.
The agency boss said on state-run television: “He’s paid extra to enter the market with a cheaper product.
“Of course. Russia can’t compete.”
Mr Musk is a billionaire tech giant known to invest in ambitious missions in space and for founding businesses Paypal and Tesla, which specialises in electric cars.
He is a controversial figure, known for his outrageous comments on Twitter.
Mr Rogozin branded the alleged deal between Mr Musk and US government as “unfair”, but declared Russia will fight back, challenge the competition and return to dominance.