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MOSCOW, October 15 (Itar-Tass) —— The shareholders of the space rocket corporation Energiya – the leading Russian enterprise in the manned space flights segment – are to hold an early meeting on Saturday.
"On the agenda there is only one issue - re-election of the board of directors,” the corporation’s press-service has told Itar-Tass. “We are to take action on the presidential instruction prohibiting high-ranking officials from taking seats on the boards of companies."
Instead of the deputy head of the presidential staff, Alexander Beglov, the government has recommended for the post of board chairman Mikhail Kovalchuk, the director of the national research center Kurchatov Institute ".
The head of the space rocket corporation Energiya, Vitaly Lopota,expressed the hope that Kovalchuk would step up intensive work to build a megawatt-class nuclear power plant for advanced spacecraft.
Russia plans to make such nuclear power plants by 2020. Involveed in this co-operation are the Keldysh Research Center, the Dollezhal Research and Development Institute of Electrical Engineering, and the corporation Energia. One is responsible for the creation of a nuclear reactor, the second, for the electric jet engines on the basis of nuclear technology, and Energiya, according to Lopota, "is to link all solutions into a unified whole."
The Kurchatov Center joined the project in 2009. "By an agreement with the corporation Energia we are to breathe a new life into the whole theme of creating of nuclear power plants," said Kovalchuk at a news conference at Itar-Tass. The appointment of the head of the Kurchatov Center to the post of chairman of the Energiya corporation’s board of directors is expected to enhance the work related to the future development of outer space.
A nuclear engine will be able to reduce the duration of a mission to Mars and back to three months, while the currently used chemical engines need about eighteen months.