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© RIA Novosti Illustration. Depositphotos, NASA
MOSCOW, May 4 – RIA Novosti. Russia should not refuse to participate in the creation of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, but it is required to raise its role in this project by creating a nuclear tug for the delivery of cargo to the outer space, said Andrei Ionin, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Astronautics.
The role of Russia in the creation of a near-moon station will be determined in the summer of 2018
Earlier, a source in the rocket and space industry told RIA Novosti that the first Russian cosmonaut will go to the Moon on the American spacecraft Orion. Prior to that, it was reported that the United States and its partners are forcing Russia to build a lock module for outfitting crews in open space according to American technical standards and to use American suits instead of Russian ones. The final image of the lunar orbital station and the participation in its creation of various countries, including Russia, will become clear in the coming months.
"Considering that we are asking to take a Russian cosmonaut to the crew of the near-moon station, we will have to agree to all of their conditions. The requirements are known: the subordinate role of Russia in the project, the role of the participant, which does not solve anything, and also the translation of Russian astronautics to American standards. In fact, the US will not only have a political and organizational role in the project, but also the task of technical subordination of Russia is being solved. If someone thinks that the use of American standards in the gateway module will end, then this is not so. This will be the first swallow. Over time, huge costs will be required to transfer all Russian cosmonautics to foreign technical standards", – said Ionin.
NASA engineers completed tests of space "nuclear suitcase"
According to the expert, the United States and its partners create for Russia the illusion of no alternative to participation in the creation of the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway against the background of proposals to stop the operation of the International Space Station, although there are other ways of developing the domestic manned space flight: cooperation with the BRICS countries and creation at the national level key technologies for the delivery of goods to the outer space.
"China, India, Brazil and such rich countries as the United Arab Emirates, or technologically advanced, like South Korea, are also interested in the development of manned space exploration. We can offer them the creation of a space alliance", – said Ionin.
Source: Russian gateway of the near-moon station is to be built at the expense of the USA
The second option is the creation of a technology that would become a key element of any project in the development of outer space, a nuclear tug of a megawatt class.
"Having created such a system, Russia will become a welcome partner in any project for the development of outer space, and then it will already act on an equal footing with the United States", – the expert noted.
According to Ionin, it is not necessary to refuse to participate in the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway project, but in order to negotiate with the United States on an equal footing, it is necessary to show the technologies that Russia can offer in exchange for its high role.
Russian astronaut can go to the moon on an American ship
"About the political damage from the current plans, I do not say. Such a subordinate role is absolutely deadlock for Russia and does not meet its historical role", – the expert noted.
Work on the creation of a nuclear power plant of a megawatt class in Russia began in 2010. The device is designed to provide flights to the outer space. Earlier, Rosatom plans to produce a prototype of such a facility by 2018. On the basis of the energy engine it is planned to create powerful space vehicles and tugs for cargo transportation.