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Russia's New Nuclear Engine to Enable Spacecrafts to Reach Mars in 45 Days

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A nuclear engine currently being developed in Russia by the nuclear agency Rosatom and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will allow a spaceship to reach Mars in an unprecedentedly short period of just 1.5 months, Rosatom’s General Director Sergei Kirienko said Wednesday.

Launch of Proton-M rocket with Intelsat-22 satellite - Sputnik International
Proton-M With Eutelsat 9B Satellite to Be Launched Saturday – Roscosmos
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Kirienko, using existing technology, a spacecraft takes around 18 months to reach Mars and it has no way of returning back to Earth or to maneuver while en route.

"Installing a nuclear engine will allow [a spacecraft] to fly to Mars in a month and a half and to come back, as the spacecraft would retain the ability to maneuver," Kirienko said, addressing the Federation Council.

Moscow is a world leader in the sphere of atomic energy. At the moment, Rosatom, which incorporates many enterprises and nuclear institutions, is constructing 41 nuclear reactors, of which 34 are abroad.

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