The “Zeus” Russian nuclear-powered tug will search for life in the Universe, as announced today, on June 15, by the head of the Roscosmos state space corporation Dmitry Rogozin, RIA Novosti reports.
“And missions that are sent to Mars, to Venus, and in the future, after the creation of thermonuclear capabilities, when moving outside the solar system, it will be the most important task to discover and understand: are we alone in space, or is there another life,” Rogozin said at the Global Space Exploration Conference GLEX-2021.
It is specified that the nuclear tug will be designed for flights to the Moon and the planets of the solar system. The tug itself got the name “Zeus”, while the research and development work was called “Nuklon” (“nucleon”).
It is noted that the creation of elements of a nuclear tug based on a transport and energy module with a nuclear power plant of a megawatt-class has been carried out in Russia since 2010. In 2019, a model of a tug was presented for the first time at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon.
According to the contract published on the public procurement website, the development of the preliminary design of the tug will be completed by July 2024 and will cost the developers 4.2 billion rubles.