Russian space agency plan NUCLEAR space rocket

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Expand view Topic review: Russian space agency plan NUCLEAR space rocket

Russian space agency plan NUCLEAR space rocket

Post by bugmenot » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:46 pm

Russian space agency plan to build NUCLEAR space rocket :alien: ... ocket.html

Russia's space agency is planning to build a new spaceship with a nuclear engine, its chief announced yesterday.

Anatoly Perminov told a government meeting that the preliminary design could be ready by 2012 and would take nine years and cost £363million to build.

'The implementation of this project will allow us to reach a new technological level surpassing foreign developments,' Mr Perminov told a meeting discussing space technologies.

The Russian Space Agency is using 40-year-old booster rockets to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. Now they plan to go nuclear

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged the Cabinet to consider providing the necessary funding.

'It's a very serious project. We need to find the money,' President Medvedev said.

Mr Perminov's ambitious statement contrasted with the current state of the Russian space programme.

Russia is using 40-year old Soyuz booster rockets and capsules to send crews to the International Space Station. Development of a replacement rocket and a prospective spaceship with conventional fuel has dragged on with no end in sight.

However Mr Perminov said the proposed spaceship was a 'unique breakthrough project'.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) listens to chief designer Alexander Leonov (centre) as the head of the Russian space agency Anatoly Perminov (left) looks on, during a visit to the Scientific Engineering production facility

He said the ship would have a megawatt-class nuclear reactor, as opposed to small nuclear reactors that powered Soviet satellites.

The Cold-War era Soviet spy satellites had reactors which produced just a few kilowatts of power and had a lifespan of just about a year.

He and other officials have said that Russia needs a new spaceship to replace the old Soyuz for missions in Earth orbit, but so far have only talked about a ship powered by a conventional rocket fuel.

The Russian space agency has also mulled over prospective future missions to the moon and Mars, but hasn't set a specific time frame yet. ... ocket.html :alien: