Russia Plans Megawatt Nuclear Space Engine by 2017

RIA Novosti reports on Russia’s plans for advanced space nuclear propulsion, an effort that now apparently involves the Skolkovo Foundation:

A Russian Megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system for long-range manned spacecraft must be ready by 2017, Skolkovo Foundation’s Nuclear Cluster head Denis Kovalevich said on Wednesday.

β€œAt present we are testing several types of fuel and later we will start drafting the design,” Kovalevich said. β€œThe first parts [of the nuclear engine] should be built in 2013, and the engine is expected to be ready by 2017.”

The engine is being developed for interplanetary manned spacecraft to ensure that Russia maintains a competitive edge in the space race, including the exploration of the Moon and Mars.

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  • Nice, but we’ve heard this and similar plans from the Russians before. Wake me when they actually cut metal and test-run something…