The Moon Economic Wars: Russia and China Plan a Nuclear Plant to Power Future Lunar Base

Space, the final frontier… for economic competition.

In plans that are not so dissimilar from NASA’s own publicized plans, Russia and China are now reportedly considering putting a nuclear power plant on the moon.

And not in some hypothetical future, either, but in a decade.

Yuri Borisov, head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos is out in the public eye, stating that this may happen from 2033 to 2035.

Roscosmos isn’t on its best moment, after Luna-25, first moon mission in 47 years, spun out of control and crashed in the moon surface – but the Indian Space Agency had the very same problem, and two years later it successfully landed their first spacecraft.

So I guess one underestimates the Russian space program at their own peril.

According to Borisov, a nuclear power plant could one day allow lunar settlements to be built. He said that Russia and China had been jointly working on a lunar project, as Moscow contribute with its expertise on ‘nuclear space energy’.

Reuters reported:

“‘Today we are seriously considering a project – somewhere at the turn of 2033-2035 – to deliver and install a power unit on the lunar surface together with our Chinese colleagues, Borisov said.”

Roscosmos’ Yuri Borisov.

As in Earth, so in the Moon – Solar panels don’t provide enough electricity to power future human lunar settlements, he said, while nuclear power could.

“‘This is a very serious challenge…it should be done in automatic mode, without the presence of humans’, he said of the possible plan.”

While many will perhaps be skeptic of his plans, Borisov has more on store. He also spoke of Russian plans to build a nuclear-powered cargo spaceship.

All the technical questions concerning the project had been solved, he said, ‘apart from finding a solution on how to cool the nuclear reactor’.

“‘We are indeed working on a space tugboat. This huge, cyclopean structure that would be able, thanks to a nuclear reactor and a high-power turbines… to transport large cargoes from one orbit to another, collect space debris and engage in many other applications’, Borisov said.”

Moscow means to launch further lunar missions, and maybe participate a joint Russian-China crewed mission that could develop into a partnership in a lunar base.

China on its part has promised to put the first Chinese taikonaut on the moon before 2030.

Read more:

The Moon Economic Wars



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