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Russia plans to develop nuke-powered spaceships

BAIKONUR (BNS): Russia is planning to design nuclear engine-powered spacecraft to launch future manned missions to Mars and other planets.

The country will start research in 2010 to develop such spaceships, according to the head of federal space agency Roscosmos.

“Nuclear engines for spaceships are a very promising area. Such engines should be created to make flights to Mars and other planets, for example,” Anatoly Perminov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The draft design for the project would be finalised in 2012, Perminov said, adding the country would need an investment of over $580 million in the next nine years to develop the nuke-engine fitted spacecraft.

Perminov earlier said that development of Megawatt-class nuclear space power systems for manned spacecraft was crucial for Russia if the country wanted to maintain a competitive edge in the space race, including exploration of the Moon and Mars, the report said.

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