Solar power and gravity will slowly become obsolete when it comes to ways for a spacecraft to accelerate in space. That seems to be what Roscosmos scientists had in mind, as Russia’s space agency is working on a nuclear-powered spacecraft that will transport heavy cargo all the way to Jupiter.
The information comes from MSN.com, and the upcoming spacecraft is scheduled to launch to Jupiter in 2030. However, Russia won’t stop there, as it also plans to build a nuclear-powered space station.
Zeus enters the scene
Zeus is the name for the spacecraft’s energy module, which is designed to generate a lot of power to propel heavy cargo. We’re talking about a mobile nuclear power plant. If a spacecraft powered by regular fuel will need about three years to get to Mars, it all becomes a lot easier with a nuclear-powered spacecraft: according to an estimation from NASA, a trip on the same route would take a year less.
The upcoming mission from 2030 implies that the spacecraft will head to the Moon first, then get close to Venus and use the planet’s gravity to arrive at Jupiter. According to Alexander Bloshenko, who is the executive director for long-term programs and science at Roscosmos, the mission would last for 50 months, meaning a bit over four years. Bloshenko also added:
Together with the Russian Academy of Sciences, were are now making calculations about this flight’s ballistics and payload.
Roscosmos continues to be pretty active in the cosmic field. Its Soyuz-2.1b is ready for a new launch when it will deliver 36 OneWeb satellites starting tomorrow, May 27. After this launch, the number of OneWeb satellites will reach 218 pieces, while the goal is to achieve a 650 satellite constellation.