Russia began developing a nuclear power unit for a lunar station together with China, RIA said

Russia began developing a nuclear power unit for a lunar station together with China, RIA said

Russia has begun developing a nuclear power plant for a planned lunar station with China, the RIA news agency quoted Yuri Borisov, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, as saying on Wednesday.

In March, Borisov said Moscow was considering the idea of powering the station using nuclear energy. Something he said could one day allow a lunar settlement to be built.

Borisov, a former deputy defense minister, said that Russia and China had cooperated on the lunar program and that Moscow could contribute with its expertise on “nuclear space energy”.

Borisov spoke at the time also about Russia’s plans to build a nuclear-powered cargo spacecraft. He said all technical issues related to the project had been resolved in addition to finding a solution on how to cool the nuclear reactor.

“We are indeed working on space tugboats. These huge cyclopean structures can, thanks to nuclear reactors and high-powered turbines…to transport large cargo from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other applications, ” said Borisov.

Russian officials have previously talked about ambitious plans to one day mine the Moon, but Russia’s space program has suffered several setbacks in recent years.

Its first lunar mission in 47 years failed last year after Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed.

Moscow said it would launch further lunar missions and then explore the possibility of a joint Russian-Chinese crewed mission and even a lunar base.

China said in February it aimed to put the first Chinese astronaut on the moon before 2030.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in February dismissed warnings by the United States that Moscow planned to put nuclear weapons in space as false, saying it was a ploy to draw Russia into arms talks on Western terms.

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