Russia to provide NASA with nuclear fuel
Russia is set to start
delivering nuclear fuel to the US space program beginning
next year, an official with Russia's atomic energy
ministry said Wednesday.
Russia is set to provide the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) with plutonium-238 for five
years, according to a 32-million-dollarmillion-euro)
contract signed by the Russian and US energy departments,
the official said.
"NASA needs this type of nuclear fuel after
President (George W.) Bush's announcement that it had
launched a program to develop a nuclear engine for
rockets," the official said, quoted by ITAR-TASS
A nuclear-fueled engine would increase the speed at which
rockets enter space, allowing rockets to reach Mars in
two months rather than the current six, Russian scientist
Nikolai Ponomaryov-Stepnoi told ITAR-TASS.