Putin's Pipe Dreams: Russia And China Eyeing Nuclear Power Plant On The Moon

By Tommy Wilson | Wednesday, 06 March 2024 08:30 AM
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In a significant development, Yuri Borisov, the chief of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, announced on Tuesday that Russia and China are contemplating the installation of a nuclear power plant on the moon between 2033 and 2035.

This ambitious project, he said, could pave the way for the construction of lunar settlements in the future.

Borisov, who previously served as a deputy defense minister, revealed that the two nations have been collaborating on a lunar program. He emphasized Russia's ability to contribute its expertise in "nuclear space energy" to the project.

"We are seriously considering a project - somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 - to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues," Borisov stated.

He explained that solar panels would not be sufficient to power future lunar settlements, necessitating the use of nuclear power. The implementation of this plan, he added, would be a significant challenge and would need to be executed automatically, without human intervention.

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In addition to this, Borisov disclosed Russia's plans to construct a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship. He noted that all technical issues related to the project have been resolved, except for one - finding a method to cool the nuclear reactor.

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"We are indeed working on a space tugboat. This huge, cyclopean structure that would be able, thanks to a nuclear reactor and high-power turbines...to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other applications," he elaborated.

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Despite these ambitious plans, the Russian space program has faced numerous setbacks in recent years. Last year, Russia's first moon mission in 47 years ended in failure when the Luna-25 spacecraft lost control and crashed.

However, Moscow remains undeterred, with plans to launch additional lunar missions, explore the possibility of a joint Russian-Chinese crewed mission, and even construct a lunar base. Meanwhile, China announced last month its goal to land the first Chinese astronaut on the moon before 2030.

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Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed a warning from the United States that Moscow intended to deploy nuclear weapons in space as false. He claimed it was a tactic to coerce Russia into arms negotiations on Western terms.

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