- Photo: ITAR-TASS
Russia has created a brand new ship, ready for interplanetary missions, said on 12 April, the Cosmonautics Day, on "Business Breakfast" to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" the head of the Federal Space Agency / Roskosmos / Vladimir Popovkin.
In his words, "has been completed engineering design Rocket and Space Corporation" Energia ". Soon begin detailed design, creation of experimental facilities. Term has not changed: in 2018 to be held the first flight of a new unmanned spacecraft. But it will be a brand new ship, ready for interplanetary flight. "
However, the new manned spacecraft in itself — it is not the solution. "There should be developed … promising manned transport system, which includes a heavy vehicle, and various manned" — says Popovkin.
He also said that "now the gradual modification of manned spacecraft" Soyuz. "We made a digital control system, modernized system convergence. At the turn — life support system, the propulsion system."
The likelihood of interplanetary flights in Russia for the first time creates a "compact nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,000 kW of electro-motors for traction"." This is a megawatt-class installation. Its development opens up a whole other opportunities in space, allows for a fresh look at the use of the geostationary orbit, "- said the head of" Roskosmos "." In comparison, the ISS solar arrays generate about 100 kW. But the station is in Earth orbit. And during the flight, such as to Mars would require an area of solar cells, comparable with a dozen football fields! "
"The variant — Popovkin said — that the engines will run on pure xenon, heated to very high temperatures. This will allow for the specific thrust to 20 times greater than chemical engines. For us, the most important, as it will be possible to use the module with such energy: in the interorbital tug, multifunctional platforms and devices for interplanetary missions. No analogues in the world. "
However, there are two problems: "What should be the reactor itself, and what the cooling system.'s Unique cooling system — this is the drip method, which is theoretically confirmed by us on Earth. I think next year we'll do an experiment on the ISS, will show that he is in outer space is real. "
"The prototype nuclear power installation of 250 kW are planning to make in 2018"- Promised Popovkin.