As we have written in the past, the Russia seems to be intent on continuing to have a space program with different missions and several new ships and components. This despite the current international sanctions that have reduced the ability to trade with many nations, also reducing the possibilities of spending for Roscosmos.
Among the projects announced are the construction of the ROSS space station, the Orlyonok and Oryol spacecraft, the new Soyuz-5 and Angara-A5M space rockets and the missions to Venus and Mars (the latter also using components of the ExoMars mission). Among other innovations is the development of the spaceship known as Zeus who will use the nuclear propulsion for travel to the Moon and other planets of the Solar System.
Roscosmos and the Zeus nuclear-powered spacecraft
Take advantage of the nuclear propulsion to move in Space seems to be making a comeback with the US, China and Russia looking to develop prototypes over the next few years. Both NASA and DARPA are looking to build the first experimental spacecraft by 2030 while Roscosmos has its own development program (known as Nuklon) which should lead to the realization of the Zeus spacecraft.
In the last few hours some news has emerged thanks to what was reported by the government press agency RIA Novosti. According to Dmitry Rogozin (director general of the space agency) stated that cosmonauts will be able to carry out missions starting from ROSS space station (whose preliminary projects will be finalized in 2023) and, using a spaceship (probably Orlyonok), will reach the Zeus spacecraft. This will allow you to check the assembly of the latter.
Rogozin he added “the new space station will operate in an orbit from which the crew will be able to visit our Zeus nuclear spacecraft with its spacecraft to check the deployment of all its key elements and structures (first of all, the large radiators to dissipate the excess heat) until the reactor is ignited in a safe orbit 800 km away “.
The executive also stated that with the current chemical propulsion the power and reserves of propellant are not sufficient for missions to the Moon or other planets. In particular Zeus with nuclear propulsion will act as “tug” for manned spacecraft. Rogozin then also stated that space exploration is “inextricably linked to nuclear energy”.
Roscosmos is developing Zeus since 2010 while the first test flight in orbit could be expected by 2030. The first operational mission could be a trip to Jupiter which would be launched around 2030 and would arrive in 2034. The launch will take place from Vostochny where the payload will be launched with one rocket and another there Zeus nuclear-powered spacecraft which will then hook onto the first to provide propulsion with gravitational assists provided by the Moon and Venus.
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