Russia Begins Development of Nuclear Tug for Flights to Moon, Jupiter, Venus

Roscosmos has signed a contract worth 4.2 billion rubles ($57.5 million) for the preliminary design of nuclear space tug Nuklon for flights to the Moon, Jupiter and Venus, according to the materials of the state corporation published on the public procurement website, Sputnik reported.

The contract between Roskosmos and the St. Petersburg design bureau Arsenal for the “development of a preliminary design for the creation of a space system with a nuclear-based transport and energy module (TEM),” was signed on December 10.

Previously Roskosmos revealed some details about developing a spacecraft fitted with a nuclear power module that would serve as a “tug” of sorts.

In July, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin announced that the space agency was working on a nuclear propulsion system that would allow heavy cargo ships to travel to the furthest reaches of our Solar system and beyond.