In a major breakthrough, China is expected to achieve its dream of building nuclear-powered space shuttles by the year 2040.
In a major breakthrough, China is expected to achieve its dream of building nuclear-powered space shuttles by the year 2040. According to a report by Global Times, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) recently released an ambitious roadmap for the country’s space aspirations. The report stated that that China wants to build nuclear-powered space shuttles by 2040. The company is considered the “cradle of China’s carrier rockets,” as per the report. According to the release, the breakthrough will support large-scale explorations and the development of space resources, and make mining on asteroids and establishing space solar power plants possible. It also outlined the development road map for China’s space transportation system until 2045.
Jiao Weixin, a Peking University space science professor while talking about China’s ambitious Space project said, “Nuclear-powered space shuttles are mainly used for long-distance space travel and deep space exploration. They are the cornerstone for the Mars space stations.” He added, “Given China’s progress in miniature nuclear reactors, such as the maritime nuclear stations, it is possible to use similar technology in space shuttles.” He also said that the nuclear-powered space shuttles will stay in orbit and will not land on Earth or other planets, reducing the risk of possible radioactive contamination.
The release by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, according to Global Times added that a future generation of carrier rockets will be put into use around 2040 and hybrid power reusable carriers will be developed. The report added that, by the year 2040, the space transportation to get in and out of space will see radical transformations, which will make it possible to build a space ladder in order to regularly explore the solar system on a large scale with coordination between humans and machines.
The release added that the Long March-8 carrier rocket is expected to be launched in 2020, with the Long March series providing commercial launch services for other countries. It further said that by 2025, reusable suborbital carriers will be successfully developed and suborbital space travel will come true. Further, by the year 2030, heavy carrier rockets will be launched to provide support to manned lunar landing missions and sufficient transportation power for samples from Mars and then by 3035 carrier rockets will be completely reusable and the future generation of intelligent carrier rockets with advanced power will be launched.