Russia's space agency is proposing to build a new spaceship with a nuclear engine.
Its chief Anatoly Perminov said today that the preliminary design could be ready by 2012.
It will then take nine more years and around £600 billion to build it.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged his cabinet to consider providing the necessary funding.
Mr Perminov's ambitious statement contrasts with the current state of the Russian space programme.
Russia is using 40-year old Soyuz booster rockets and capsules to send crews to the International Space Station. Development of a replacement rocket and a prospective spaceship with a conventional propellant has dragged on with no end in sight.