Chinese media began to publish information that the country is developing a powerful nuclear reactor, which is going to be used for interplanetary missions.
Today, nuclear reactors for the conquest of space are created by several countries at once, for example, the United States and Russia. The tug “Zeus” is being created in Russia. Also, the European Space Agency is developing the Democritos reactor.
Chinese media, citing sources, report that the country is testing a 1-MW class project – this, according to their information, is a completely different powerful solution.
The technical design of the nuclear reactor has already been completed. It will operate at temperatures that can reach 2,000 ° C. The temperature in the reactor zone will be higher than in terrestrial conditions.
In this case, the device itself will be small, and the excess heat will be removed using the “umbrella” system of radiators. The lithium melt or its salts will act as a heat carrier.
Alternatively, for spacecraft, reactors can be modular to allow the most powerful propulsion systems to be assembled outside of Earth. Manufacturing and shipping small modules into orbit will be cheaper and safer.
Earlier, NASA announced a competition for the creation of a 10-kilowatt-class reactor, the Chinese sample will be 100 times more powerful – 1 MW.