Relations between Russia and the United States have already hit a new low amid the Ukraine crisis. And now Russia wants an investigation into whether the U.S. moon landings actually happened. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Kremlin’s Investigative Committee, said in an op-ed column published in the Russian-language newspaper Izvestia that a probe would reveal new insights into the historical space journeys.

Russia Wants Probe Into U.S. Moon Landings

NASA erased the original footage to save money

Markin demanded an international investigation into the disappearance of the original video of the first moon landing in 1969. He also raised questions on the whereabouts of the lunar rock that was brought back to Earth during several missions between 1969 and 1972. Markin said he didn’t contend that Americans did not land on the moon.

He argued that these scientific artifacts are part of the human legacy, and their disappearance is the humanity’s common loss. Approximately 380kg of lunar rock was brought back to Earth between 1969 and 1972 during the U.S. missions. A large chunk of that is stored at Johnson Space Center in Texas. In 2009, NASA had admitted that they had erased the original footage of the first moon landing among more than 200,000 other tapes to save money, reports The Washington Post.

Why does Russia want an investigation?

The U.S. space agency has since restored copies of the lunar landing using recordings from sources like CBS News. So, why does Russia want an investigation into over 45 years old moon landing? Vladimir Markin vented his frustration that the U.S. had crossed the line by launching a corruption probe into nine FIFA officials.

Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup. Authorities claim that the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 World Cup in Qatar are at the center of the corruption probe. Earlier this month, longtime FIFA chief Sepp Blatter offered resignation as the scandal unfolded. It has fueled speculations that Russia and Qatar might be stripped of their right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.