Military Review

Russia is developing a nuclear engine for spacecraft

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The Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) on Tuesday announced that it plans to begin work on creating standardized modules of atomic power plants for spacecraft next year.

RSC Energia Director Vitaly Lopota said that the first start-up of reactors with power from 150 to 500 kW could be carried out in 2020.

Earlier, the head of Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, said that the development of megawatt-class nuclear power systems for manned spacecraft is crucial for maintaining Russia's competitiveness in the space industry, including studies of the Moon and Mars. The project will require about 17 billion rubles. In addition, the corporation is working on the concept of an atomic space tug, which can more than halve the cost of launching cargo into orbit.

A nuclear reactor used as an energy source for an ion engine can bring astronautics to a whole new level. The principle of operation of the engine is to ionize the gas and accelerate it by an electrostatic field to high speeds exceeding 210 km / s, which is much more than that of classical chemical rocket engines (3 — 4,5 km / s). Currently, ion engines are widely used on spacecraft. However, these are mostly low-powered, low-powered power plants, since the ion engine requires a lot of electricity, measured in hundreds of kilowatt-hours.

Also, a nuclear reactor can heat up to several thousand degrees of hydrogen and produce a large jet thrust, without the need to use an oxidizer.

In any form, a cosmic nuclear reactor will be able to provide the spacecraft with the necessary energy, a burden, and provide a quick flight to the most remote corners of the solar system, where there is not enough sunlight to use solar batteries.
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  1. den34rus
    den34rus 17 November 2011 20: 03
    0
    will wait
  2. CARTRIDGE
    CARTRIDGE 17 November 2011 20: 30
    0
    It’s understandable for rockets, they radiate there in space, but it’s already passed aviation ...
  3. Sarus
    Sarus 9 January 2012 12: 32
    0
    Finally we started thinking. Recently, the Russian Federation has been very actively returning to the "Soviet fields of science." Remained current with the Caucasus and drug addiction to solve. Well, kindergartens.
  4. Honory
    Honory 19 August 2012 17: 52
    0
    I would like to see it. I hope I will hold out.