Battlepanda: Mining the moon


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mining the moon

If this goes anywhere, wow.
MOSCOW (AP) – The head of a leading Russian space company said it was considering plans to set up a permanent moon base by 2015, a statement that appeared to be an effort to win government funds rather than a specific action plan, news reports said Thursday.

Nikolai Sevastyanov, the head of the state-controlled RKK Energiya company that built Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, said that mining helium-3, a potential rich source of energy, and harnessing it back to Earth would be a key priority in the moon exploration program, the and Web sites reported.

Sevastyanov said a Russian moon base could start tapping helium-3 in 2020. He and other Russian space officials have made similar projections in the past, but the government hasn't allocated any funds yet for moon exploration.[snip]

Scientists believe the moon's rich resources of helium-3 could be used in futuristic fusion reactors on Earth that would generate electricity without producing nuclear waste. Such fusion technology could also power rockets for deep space travel in the future.

There is so little helium-3 on Earth that the technology hasn't been studied much. The moon appears to have it in abundance because it lacks the atmosphere and magnetic field that keep helium-3 from raining down on our planet from outer space.

This is blowing my mind...nuclear energy without radioactive almost limitless source of fuel so potent, 25 tonnes could power the U.S. for an entire year...mining the moon, for goodness' sakes.

Via Mark, at Doubting to Shuo