Russian scientists began testing the fuel for nuclear power installations, which in the future will be equipped with Russian interplanetary spacecraft.
"This project is implemented in full. Already there are works on fuel. For some types of fuel began testing" — "Interfax-AVN" on Wednesday, the head of the cluster Nuclear Technology Fund "Skolkovo" Denis Kavalevich.
According to him, the development of nuclear power installation takes place without delay. "The third consecutive year, the money will be allocated to this project. Working on it moving forward," — said D.Kovalevich.
He recalled that the ground test set to begin in 2014, and in 2017, the installation must be ready to launch into space.
"I believe that this project is realizable. Another thing is to what extent and when the space industry will be able to take advantage of this setup, but this issue should be addressed to them. We are a part of the nuclear, power plant megawatt class, we'll do," — said the head of the cluster nuclear technology.
He also said that the development of nuclear power installation is without the involvement of foreign experts, because there is a lot of dual-use technologies. "This is — Russian project" — D.Kovalevich said.
Earlier Center im.Keldysha won a competition to design and manufacture the sample space nuclear power plant (nuclear engines) high power. This decision was made in the commission of Roskosmos space agency conducted the tender.
The contract involves the development of propulsion units for the period from 2011 to 2013. The winner of the contest will develop a conceptual design of the poster (with a thermal nuclear reactor simulator) of the sample propulsion units, to make the sample and hold his piloting. For these purposes, the Federal Space Agency plans to allocate 805 million rubles.
Propulsion units will be used in the interorbital tug, multifunctional platforms in geostationary orbit, and interplanetary spacecraft.
The competition documentation indicates that the sample propulsion units must have the following characteristics: electrical power output of the module to the converter turbine rated speed of 100-150 kW, the engine specific impulse 900-5000 seconds, the resource is 1.5-3 years.
Roscosmos emphasizes that the mass and dimensions of the basic elements of propulsion units must ensure their placement in the head parts of the Russian space rocket "Proton" and "Angara".