The State Department Responds To Combined Russian-Chinese Proposal To Build A Nuclear-Powered Moon Base

( — Russia and China last week announced that their two countries’ space agencies were considering establishing a nuclear-powered lunar base on the moon in the next ten years, Reuters reported.

In a joint statement from Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration, the two countries announced that they would jointly construct a lunar station that would be “open to all countries.”

According to Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov, the construction of a nuclear-powered base could pave the way for lunar settlements in the future.

Borisov said Russia had been working on a joint lunar program with China, to which Moscow was contributing its expertise in “nuclear space energy.” He said the two countries were “seriously considering a project” to install a nuclear power unit on the moon sometime between 2033 and 2035 since solar panels would be unable to provide enough energy to power a settlement.

According to Borisov, the nuclear power unit could be delivered and installed on an unmanned mission. Russia would also construct a nuclear-powered “space tugboat” capable of transporting large cargoes into lunar orbit, Borisov said.

He claimed that Roscosmos had worked out most of the technical questions except how to cool a nuclear reactor once it was on the surface of the moon.

While Russia, and the Soviet Union before it, have always had big plans for the Moon, its space program has suffered multiple setbacks in recent years.

Last August, Russia’s first moon mission in nearly a half-century ended in disaster when its unmanned Luna-25 spacecraft lost control and crashed on the moon.

In February, China announced its plan to put its first astronaut on the moon by 2030.

It is unclear if Roscosmos’ announcement of a nuclear reactor on the moon was related to the US intelligence information that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner warned about last month.

A spokesperson with the State Department told Newsweek that the US was aware of Russia and China’s plans for an international research station on the moon.

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