Saturday, March 16, 2024

"Russia and China announce plan to build shared nuclear reactor on the moon by 2035, 'without humans'"

My goals for 2035 aren't quite that lofty.

From, March 12:

The proposed nuclear reactor would provide energy to a lunar base that Russia and China have agreed to build together.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has announced plans to work with China to build an automated nuclear reactor on the moon by 2035. The proposed reactor will help power a proposed lunar base that the two countries will jointly operate.  

Back in 2021, Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) revealed that they intended to build a shared base on the moon, named the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), which they claimed at the time would be "open to all interested countries and international partners." 

However, NASA astronauts are unlikely to be allowed to visit this base due to historically frosty relations with CNSA and a more recent split with Roscosmos, which will leave the International Space Station by 2025 in response to sanctions from the U.S. over Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

On Tuesday (March 5), Roscosmos announced that it will eventually attempt to build a nuclear reactor alongside CNSA, which would theoretically be able to power the ILRS. 

"Today we are seriously considering a project — somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 — to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues," Roscosmos director general Yury Borisov told state-owned Russian news site TASS.

Borisov added that the challenging construction job would likely be carried out autonomously "without the presence of humans" and that the necessary technological solutions to pull it off are "almost ready."....