A Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket launches on April 20, 2017, to send China’s first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, to dock with its new space laboratory Tiangong-2. Getty Images

China wants to use nuclear power to send its astronauts to the moon and start mining asteroids.

The South China Morning Post reported that the nation is looking to make huge strides into space over the next three decades, with the country’s biggest rocket developer announcing its plan to create a fleet of space shuttles that run on nuclear energy, rather than chemical fuel, by 2040 and then use that technology to harvest space resources. That includes mining operations on asteroids and accumulating solar power by building space-based plants.

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology reportedly said the rockets and spaceships would be capable of interplanetary travel, including for commercial purposes.

“By 2045, China will have the best transport system in space,” academy director Li Hong said, according to the Post.

It’s not the first step China has made toward space domination. The country has previously announced its desire to send people to the moon and has put volunteers into space colony simulations as tests of how astronauts would fare in their health, perform scientific experiments and operate in a self-sustaining habitat. It has also launched a space laboratory orbiting Earth and successfully docked a ship with it. Outside of the exploration field, earlier this year China launched its first X-ray telescope to better study black holes and gravitational waves.

China also has plans to go to Mars in the 2030s.

“The nuclear vessels are built to colonize the solar system and beyond,” Wang Changhui, a space propulsion expert at the School of Astronautics at Beihang University in Beijing, told the South China Morning Post.

As that publication notes, however, nuclear power in space comes with a risk because it is a hazard if something goes wrong and radioactive materials fall to Earth. And experts are skeptical China will even be able to develop this nuclear technology in the timeframe given.