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Russia Mulls Putting Nuclear Power Plant on Moon

Russia is considering a nuclear power plant installation on the moon starting between 2033 and 2035, according to the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

Russia—along with China—is considering the idea of placing a nuclear power plant on the moon over the next decade or so, and the two countries have been working together on a lunar program for nuclear space energy.

“Today 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,” Yuri Borisov, head of Roscosmos said on Tuesday.

 According to Borisov, solar panels would provide an insufficient amount of electricity to power future lunar settlements. Nuclear power, on the other hand, would be sufficient.

Russia also has plans to build a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship—most of which had already been mapped out, although the one remaining question in the project was how to cool the nuclear reactor.

The cargo spacecraft would be able to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, Borisov said.

Moscow will need to launch additional lunar missions first, before fully exploring the idea of a Russian/China crewed mission or a lunar base.

In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against the United States, who accused Moscow of planning to put nuclear weapons in space.

Last year, Russia suffered a significant defeat when its Luna-25 mission failed nine days after launch when it collided with the lunar surface. At the time, analysts spoke out against Russia’s space prowess, accusing it of yet another indicator of how the Russian space program had deteriorated in recent years.

Luna 25 would have been Russia’s first probe on the moon’s surface since the Soviet collapse and the first since 1976.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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