Russia’s space agency chief is proposing to build a new spaceship with a nuclear engine.
Anatoly Perminov told a government meeting Wednesday that the preliminary design could be ready by 2012. He said it will then take nine more years and 17 billion rubles (about $600 million or 400 million euros) to build the ship.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged the Cabinet to consider providing the necessary funding.
Perminov’s ambitious statement contrasted with the current state of the Russian space program.
Russia is using 40-year old Soyuz booster rockets and capsules to send crews to the International Space Station. Development of a replacement rocket and a prospective spaceship with a conventional propellant has dragged on with no end in sight.
This probably means they already have secret nuclear spaceships and they want to go public.