Russia Begins Nuclear Rocket Engine Program

Russia earmarks $17 mln to research nuclear-propelled spacecraft
RIA Novosti

The Russian government will allocate 500 million rubles ($16.7 million) in 2010 on a project to build a spaceship with a nuclear engine.

In line with an order issued by the Cabinet on December 29, a total of 430 million rubles ($14.4 mln) will be given to the Rosatom state nuclear corporation, and the rest to the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.

Roscosmos head Anatoly Perminov said in late December that Russia would launch research into nuclear engines for spaceships this year….

Perminov said the draft design of a spacecraft powered by a nuclear propulsion system would be finalized by 2012, and the financing for further development in the next nine years would require an investment of at least 17 billion rubles (over $580 million).

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