The state corporation Roskosmos this week signed a contract for the creation of the so-called space tug – a special vehicle for carrying out long-term missions to explore and master the bodies of the solar system.
The initiative is called “Development of a preliminary project for the creation of a space complex with a transport and energy module based on a nuclear power plant“. The designation code is “Nuclon-AP”.
The essence of the project is to create a space tug equipped with a megawatt-class nuclear reactor. Such an installation will generate energy for a long time. It is proposed to use the tug to transport cargo and heavy ships to the distant planets of the solar system. It could be, say, Jupiter.
The St. Petersburg design bureau Arsenal named after MV Frunze will carry out the work within the framework of the Nuklon-AP preliminary project. The cost of the contract is 4.17 billion rubles, of which 80%, or 3.34 billion rubles, will be provided as an advance.
The work must be completed by July 28, 2024. The first launch of a nuclear space tug will take place no earlier than 2030.
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