MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The decision to design space transport powered by a megawatt-class nuclear power unit was made in 2010. As reported, the technical solutions embodied in the concept of transport and energy module will allow to solve a wide range of space tasks, including research programs on the moon and distant planets as well as establishing automated bases on them.
The new project involves the use of ionic electric jet engines, in which the jet thrust is created by accelerating the electric field of the ion flux. The nuclear reactor delivers the electric current required for this process, and radioactive substances do not make contact with the external environment. It is assumed that xenon will be used as the working fluid in the engine.