Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 06:05 am
China Plans To Strip Mine The Moon For Rare Helium
-3 VICTOR JOHNSON on January 14, 2015 at 4:43 am Chinese state media has reported the service module of test lunar orbiter has successfully began orbiting the Moon and the lunar mission will see the Chang’e 5 (Chinese: 嫦娥五号) spacecraft perform a soft landing on the surface of the Moon, where it will collect four pounds of rock and soil samples before returning home, China Topix reported. China landed its first robotic lander on December 14, 2013, as China’s Chang’e 3 moon lander and its Yutu rover touched down on the Moon at about 8:11 a.m. EST (1311 GMT). The Yutu rover landing marked the first soft-landing on the Moon by any spacecraft in 37 years, Space.com reported. China plans to build a mine on the Moon in order to harvest a rare helium isotope, Helium-3, that scientists believe may be the key source of energy in the future. According to the chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, Ouyang Ziyuan, the Moon is apparently rich with Helium 3 which, if harvested, could easily solve the world’s demands for energy by providing renewable energy through nuclear fusion. Matthew Genge, a scientist and lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at the Imperial College in London, indicated that the inclusion of Helium 3 allows nuclear fusion to produce an immense amount of energy without the excess of radioactive waste as opposed to fission reactions, as the combination does not produce any extra neutrons, China Topix reported. The report went on to indicate that 40 tons of the rare element would completely fill the cargo bays of two space shuttles, and this amount of the isotope could power the United States for an entire year at its current rate of energy consumption. Helium 3 is rare on Earth because the atmosphere and magnetic field which surround the planet prevent any Helium 3 from landing on the surface, however, this is not the case with the Earth’s Moon, as vast quantities have been dumped on the Moon’s surface by solar winds. The Daily Mail reported in August of 2014 that “China says mining helium from our satellite may help solve the world’s energy crisis.” The report indicated that lunar dirt brought back by mankind’s first moon-walkers contained an abundance of platinum, titanium, and other valuable minerals. But it also included a substance that the report indicated could be of “even greater user” to our civilization, a substance which could revolutionize energy production. But our satellite also contains a substance that could be of even greater use to civilisation – one that could revolutionise energy production. A report on The Times indicated back in August of 2014 that China has “set sights” on a “mission to mine the moon.”

Read more at: http://www.immortal.org/4376/china-plans-strip-mine-moon-rare-helium-3/
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 1,438 • Replies: 16
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 09:15 am
What the Chinese learn by mining the moon seems to me to pioneer mining asteroids, also.
0 Replies
 
imawonderingwhy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 02:01 pm
@edgarblythe,
That should lighten it just enough to send it out of its orbit careening into the Earth.

Smile
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 02:33 pm
@edgarblythe,
I wouldn't be concerned because well be there also. Besides, its the Brit who re far ahead on fusion power
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 02:53 pm
I no longer care who does it first or best. I just want to see it done.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 03:23 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

I wouldn't be concerned because well be there also. Besides, its the Brit who re far ahead on fusion power


You've been spying inside my garden shed again, haven't you.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 04:56 pm
None of us should care or be concerned about who does it.

We all should be rooting for everyone else to finally get it done.

Ambitious project on the part of the Chinese. I wish them well.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 05:22 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
None of us should care or be concerned about who does it.

We all should be rooting for everyone else to finally get it done.

Ambitious project on the part of the Chinese. I wish them well.


Me too. Far more ambitious than our recent work.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 05:32 pm
@Brandon9000,
I see the connections of H3, fusion, nd privatization of a lot of space exploration.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 06:42 pm
@imawonderingwhy,
imawonderingwhy wrote:

That should lighten it just enough to send it out of its orbit careening into the Earth.

Smile


How you gonna lighten it by removing helium. That's going to make it heavier; it'll drop like the rock it is.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2015 04:53 am
@edgarblythe,
Am I the only one to question the validity of the alleged news sources? What in the heck is Immortality.org?! Sorry... immortal.org....
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2015 05:49 am
@tsarstepan,
Even if the article is possibly a bit exaggerated, the point remains, China is in the process of bringing samples from the moon right now.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2015 10:59 am
@edgarblythe,
Do you think this is cost effective? I would imagine it is pretty expensive to travel to the moon (and the energy it takes to travel there and back) -- anyone know how much energy it takes to travel back and forth to the moon? Maybe this is kinda like all those crazy people who drive 20 miles to "save" 5 cents per gallon for gas.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2015 11:05 am
@Linkat,
Well, we can only speculate, while other do and take the chances.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2015 11:20 am
@edgarblythe,
helium 3 is made as a nuke weapons by-product
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 10:22 pm
@edgarblythe,
Problems:

(1) Mining will require landing men and industrial equipment on the moon. At present, the Chinese government says it MAY launch a manned moon landing by 2025-2030; but a mining operation of this sort is even further in the future.

(2) He-3 may be more abundant/accessible on the moon but it is still rare. To obtain one ton of it, 150 tons of ore would have to be mined. To get the 40 tons you reference for a year's energy production would require mining 6,000 tons of ore, a massive industrial undertaking.

(3) In order to avoid neutron by-products a pure He-3 fusion process would be necessary. This requires massively hotter temperatures than current fusion reaction research plants are capable of providing. The plants capable of providing these temperatures would be much larger than the already large plants, and in addition to being massively expensive would require the solution of technical problems which have yet to be addressed.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2015 02:28 am
@puzzledperson,
The author of this thread no longer posts at this site, having announced that he was leaving because he didn't like the company.
0 Replies
 
 

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