Thursday, October 29, 2009

Russia Hopes Nuclear Ship Will Fly Humans to Mars


By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
Associated Press Write
10-29-09

     MOSCOW – Russia should build a new nuclear-powered spaceship for prospective manned missions to Mars and other planets, the nation's space chief said Thursday.

Anatoly Perminov first proposed building the ship at a government meeting Wednesday but didn't explain its purpose. President Dmitry Medvedev backed the project and urged the government to find the money.

In remarks posted Thursday on his agency's Web site, Perminov said the nuclear spaceship should be used for human flights to Mars and other planets. He said the project is challenging technologically, but could capitalize on the Soviet and Russian experience in the field.

Perminov said the preliminary design could be ready by 2012, and then it would take nine more years and cost 17 billion rubles (about $600 million, or euro400 million) to build the ship.

"The project is aimed at implementing large-scale space exploration programs, including a manned mission to Mars, interplanetary travel, the creation and operation of planetary outposts," Perminov's Web statement said.

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