Russia claims design for spaceship with nuclear engine for trip to Mars

October 30, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The Russian Federal Space Agency supposedly hopes to have, Russian cosmonauts flying a nuclear-powered spacecraft to the planet Mars as early as 2021.   Russian engineers say they have a breakthrough design for such a manned spacecraft that can cover vast interplanetary distances according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Anatoly Perminov, chief of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said the preliminary design could be ready by 2012, and then it would take nine more years to build.  President Dmitry Medvedev supposedly gave the nuke-powered space craft a green light and pledged to come up with the cash to cover its $600-million price tag, which seems doubtful in itself.  And the price seems way overly optimistic not to mention that the nuclear propulsion engine seems a stretch to build with current technology. The US has already spent more than $3 billion developing the Orion crew capsule, which would use traditional rocket propellant, a combination of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, and solar energy to carry astronauts to the moon. Russia has nuclear powered satellites but they produce a few kilowatts of power and last about a year.  Were probably talking Fission reactors, to build a megawatt-class nuclear reactor engine for a spaceship.


Comments

One Response to “Russia claims design for spaceship with nuclear engine for trip to Mars”

  1. Old Man Dotes on October 30th, 2009 6:56 pm

    The US has had nuclear rocket designs for decades, but you really don’t want to launch them from the ground. Google “Project Orion” and “nuclear rocket.” Also especially see http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/nuclearmars_000521.html from 2000 (not quite a decade old, but close enough).

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