Russia to build nuclear-powered craft

MOSCOW. October 29. KAZINFORM Russia is developing manned spacecraft powered by nuclear engines, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency said Wednesday; Kazinform refers to China Daily.

The development of Megawatt-class nuclear power systems for manned spacecraft was vital if Russia intended to maintain its leading position in the space industry, Anatoly Perminov said in a meeting of the presidential commission on the modernization of the Russian economy.

"The project is aimed at implementing large-scale space exploration programs," Perminov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

He said the draft design of the spacecraft would be finished by 2012, and that at least 17 billion rubles ($580 million) were needed for further development over the next nine years; Kazinform cites China Daily.

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