China and Russia are heavily involved in space exploration, particularly with regard to research on Mars. The Asian giant, in fact, already has an explorer vehicle that travels across the Martian surface. Now, the Russians have expressed a desire to build a nuclear power plant on the planet as a way to guarantee the presence of humans there.
This innovative project was proposed by a subsidiary of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. According to the state-run Sputnik news agency, the nuclear power plant was intended to power a future Russian base on the red planet.
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Those responsible for this idea hope to use the same technology intended for Zeus, an interplanetary space tug project, to power the nuclear reactor on the Martian surface.
Russia’s Arsenals Design Bureau wants to use the tug to send an independent nuclear power plant to Mars and have a parachute landing system to bring it to the surface.
In recent months, the Russian space agency has announced its ambitious plans for the next 10 years, including the launch of a space station, manned and unmanned missions to the moon, as well as the construction of a lunar base in conjunction with China.
In the case of Zeus, the idea is for it to use a nuclear-powered electric propulsion system to transport payloads throughout the solar system. From Roscosmos, they also suggested that the tug could visit other planets, including Jupiter, in search of extraterrestrial life.
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