Russia reportedly developing nuclear satellites firing lasers… to power other satellites

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St. Petersburg-based KB Arsenal was enlisted by Roscosmos to study the feasibility of a “space nuclear power plant,” reports the Izvestia newspaper, citing technical specifications for the project. The document envisions a nuclear reactor with power between 100 kW and 1,000 kW placed in orbit and capable of powering other satellites via a laser beam.

KB Arsenal is expected to present its blueprint for using such technology by 2018, including specifications and possible orbits for a “space power station” and the risks associated with such deployments.

Nuclear reactors were tested by both the US and Soviet Union on spacecraft, but the USSR’s experience was more extensive, with over 30 such missions. KB Arsenal is also the…

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