Experts from Arsenal Design Bureau – a subsidiary of the Russian space agency Roscosmos based in Saint Petersburg that specializes in the production of spacecraft, satellites and other space technologies – have proposed the construction of a nuclear power plant for a future Russian base on Mars.
Sputnik was able to outline the proposal – which also recommends using technologies developed from the interplanetary space tug Zeus for a stationary nuclear reactor on Mars.
At Arsenal’s proposal, the reactor will be delivered to the Red Planet aboard the Zeus ship and will float to the surface using a parachute system. After landing, the power plant will be activated to power a potential Russian base on Mars.
In addition, engineers say that if Zeus were deployed at a Lagrange point between the Sun and Mars (that is, the point in space where the gravity of these objects is equally strong), the onboard sensors and transmitters could act as a “high-speed channel” to transfer information. to Earth from the surface of Mars and from spacecraft orbiting the planet.”
Earlier, Sputnik reported that the proposed megawatt-class electric propulsion system for Project Zeus would enable it to shut down hostile spacecraft control systems with an electromagnetic pulse, and even lasers.
Designers at the Moscow-based Keldysh Research Center also suggested the possibility of using the spacecraft class as an element of the Russian air defense network – to detect targets from Earth orbit and transmit this information to missile systems on the ground.
Russia has been building an interplanetary spacecraft with a nuclear power plant since 2010. In 2019, the space locomotive concept was first presented at the MAKS International Space Fair outside Moscow, with a more detailed presentation at the ARMY-2020 forum.
Last December, Roscosmos signed a $56.5 million contract with Arsenal Design Bureau for experimental design work for Zeus. This work is expected to be completed in 2024 and it is hoped that test flights will begin in 2030.
In June, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said that in addition to Mars, the tugs of Zeus could be sent to other planets, including Venus, and even travel outside our solar system, where they could search for extraterrestrial life.
Roscosmos has announced a series of ambitious plans in recent years, including building the first Russian-only space station since Mir left orbit in 2001, and plans for a series of manned and unmanned flights to the Moon and even a potential lunar base. . The Russian space program faced two main problems: a lack of sufficient funding to complete some of its ambitious projects, and a concentration of funds and other resources for questionable purposes – such as the ongoing construction of the 250,000 square meter Office Center next to the legendary Khrunichev rocket. factory in Moscow.
Despite the long list of space debuts (including the first satellite, the first man and woman in space, the first space station, the first landing on the Moon and Mars, etc.) $3.58 billion in its space program in 2020 is only $260 million More than Japan and less than France ($4.04 billion), China ($8.85 billion) and the United States ($47.69 billion). These and other factors have left the country that once had the status of an astronaut, which is seen as China’s space agency and NASA. Pride roam the latest photos and footage of their rovers on the surface of Mars.