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Lunar Power Play: Russia and China Plan Joint Nuclear Power Plant on Moon

Russia and China Contemplate Lunar Nuclear Power Plant Collaboration
Source: MEGA

Russian and Chinese leaders are reportedly working together to create a joint nuclear power plant on the moon, sources say.

Mar. 11 2024, Published 11:01 a.m. ET

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Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, announced recently that Russia and China are contemplating the installation of a nuclear power plant on the moon between 2033 and 2035.

This initiative, Borisov explained, could potentially pave the way for the establishment of lunar settlements, according to Reuters.

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Collaborating on a lunar program, Russia and China aim to leverage their combined expertise in space exploration, with Russia specifically offering its proficiency in "nuclear space energy."

Borisov emphasized the inadequacy of solar panels in meeting the energy demands of future lunar settlements, highlighting nuclear power as a viable alternative.

The envisioned project, Borisov noted, would necessitate autonomous execution without human presence, underscoring its complexity and the need for meticulous planning.

In addition to the lunar power plant, Borisov outlined Russian plans to develop a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship. While technical challenges remain, such as devising a cooling mechanism for the nuclear reactor, progress has been made in addressing these hurdles.

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The proposed space tugboat, powered by a nuclear reactor and high-power turbines, is envisioned to have diverse applications, including transporting sizable payloads between orbits and addressing space debris.

Despite ambitious aspirations, Russia's space program has encountered setbacks in recent years, notably with the failure of its Luna-25 spacecraft mission.

However, Moscow remains committed to lunar exploration, with plans for subsequent missions and potential collaboration with China on crewed missions and lunar bases.

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Meanwhile, China has articulated its aim to land the first Chinese astronaut on the moon by 2030, reflecting its own ambitious lunar exploration agenda.

Addressing concerns raised by the United States regarding the militarization of space, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed allegations of Russia's intention to deploy nuclear weapons in space as unfounded. Putin characterized such claims as a tactic to influence arms negotiations, asserting Russia's commitment to pursuing its space objectives on its own terms.

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