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Perminov Sees International Human Mars Mission in 2035 Using Nuclear Propulsion

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 8, 2011
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Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov


Mission to Mars shall be implemented under international cooperation, Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov stated, answering the questions from the Twitter in Echo-Moscow web.

“No country is able of performing Martian mission by its own in the nearest future. That’s an issue of propulsion. In our program, we have human flight to Mars no earlier than 2035. On the other hand, advanced nuclear propulsion can be developed in 8 years or so, provided necessary funding. With this system, you can get to Mars in about 90 days,” Roscosmos head said.

Advanced nuclear propulsion of mega-watt class may be available in 6-9 years, provided necessary funding, Perminov stated. Advanced nuclear propulsion system is currently in its draft design stage. Several countries have revealed their interest towards the system. Roscosmos considers the opportunities for international cooperation in the project.

“The advanced nuclear propulsion will be a breakthrough in the space industry,” Roscosmos Head believes.

Talking about space tourism, he noted that only Soyuz today provides real opportunity for touristic space missions.

“With my greatest respect towards Mr. Branson, I have to emphasize that his SpaceShip has not delivered/returned any human to space so far… Soyuz is the only real vehicle for space tourists today,” Perminov said, adding that Soyuz won’t be available for tourist for 2-3 years, as Russia is committed to maintain crew rotations in the ISS program.

“That’s a difficult task… Soyuz has no backup,” Roscosmos Head said.

3 responses to “Perminov Sees International Human Mars Mission in 2035 Using Nuclear Propulsion”

  1. Nelson Bridwell says:

    The issue is funding. Russia spends less on it’s space program than Japan, which combined with the rest of the world, combined, is less than NASA.
    So far, the best they can do is to pack away a few guys in a large RV with poor wireless reception for 500 days… And continue to keep flying a 1950s vintage Soviet ICBM.

    That is the real reason why Perminov wants international cooperation (=$$$).

    • Doug Messier says:

      Russia has been trying to rebuild the space program and has allocated more money toward it. A lot of the funds are being sucked up by the new Vostochy spaceport; two rocket development programs, Rus-M and Angara; and a Soyuz spacecraft replacement. The spaceport and the rockets are, in large part, to ensure Russian independence in space. They will reduce their dependence upon Baikonur and rockets produced in Ukraine. The new spacecraft seems to be an effort to keep up with the Americans.

      So, 20 years after the Soviet Union has collapsed, Russia is still dealing with the consequences of the breakup. Building new launch and transportation infrastructure is quite expensive and time consuming. It limits funds for actually doing very much in space.

  2. Nickolai_the_Russian_Guy says:

    Is it surprising? Even when the space program saw better days, they still looked for international cooperation/funding to keep rockets flying. There were all sorts of proposals for using Energiya in an international capacity, including sending large probes to Jupiter and Saturn, and, one of my favorites, launches large satellites equipped with lasers designed to fix the ozone layer.

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