Russian Nuclear Manned Interorbital Spacecraft
Energia, Russia's leading space development company, announced in late 2010 that it will be developing standardized interorbital manned space modules using nuclear propulsion, for missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as deep space missions, as an alternative to its solar powered competitors.
This announcement was backed up with a 500 million ruble commitment for the next year, a bit over US $ 15 million, with total funding to be around 17 billion rubles = a bit over US $ 500 million thru 2018.
Russia's nuclear power agency Rosatom is also involved.
Designs were being finalized in 2012 with planned construction starting in 2013 for launch in 2017.
NASA had embarked on a nuclear propulsion program in 2003 but reduced funding.
The Russian product will be worth keeping track of in case it comes to fruition and transport is offered as a service to the world.
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