Why Suddenly Every Country Wants To Go to The Moon Now?
July 20, 1969, is the day when a Human landed on the Moon. Till now, many space mission has been conducted and succeeded.
We have see Nasa’s Rover landing on Mars followed by China’s rover. But ,Suddenly many countries initiated their future moon mission more rapidly. Every space agency wants to go to moon. That makes me wonder, why now?
They are planning to do Mining on the Moon. Sounds Interesting, right?
In a couple of decades, we might see mining going on, on the Moon. The first reason is the availability of Helium-3. Of Course, we heard of Helium-3 in sci-fi movies/stories.
It’s the ideal substance for a clean type of nuclear reactor, with no radiation and a non-dangerous by-product. Helium-3 is also used in the form of medicines and radiation detectors.
But the main issue is, it is hardly available on Earth. It can be found in deposits of natural gasses. But it’s not adequate to extract Helium for natural gas because, in 1 billion m3, we only can extract around 15 kg of it which is clear to see, it’s not economical to do and definitely can cause huge amount of pollution.
Some of my chemistry experts might say “We can extract helium-3 as a by-product of the radioactive decay of Tritium”.
Well, the problem is Tritium is a vital component of nuclear weapons. So when the world slows down the production of nuclear weapons, the production of Helium-3 will also start diminishing and there will be no longer supply of Helium-3.
Here comes our Moon, which is filled with helium-3 for billions of years, all thanks to the sun.
Earth’s magnetic field deflects Helium-3 traveling with solar wind around the planet, whereas the Moon, with no magnetic field for protection, simply absorbs it in the top layer of ground called Regolith.
Because it’s all over the Moon, it can be collected alongside any other mining operation (in case if happens) and could be used in power reactors on the moon itself. Moon with its own power generator. This can help humans to run space missing right from moon.
Okay, back to helium-3, Some people think that Helium-3 mining on the moon will not be viable. On the other hand, China states that eventually, that mining Helium-3 is one of the primary goals of their Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Meanwhile, Other countries such as America, Europe, and Indian scientists have all stated that mining for helium is something they will consider further and Russian is conducting a study on this right now.
It’s not just all about Helium-3. The Moon surface is holding plenty of other metals like iron, titanium, aluminum, silicon, calcium, and magnesium. Some of these metals are locked into hard access minerals and oxides. Separating these metals will also often produce important by-products like oxygen and hydrogen which can allow humans to build colonies to be self-sustaining, as oxygen for breathing, hydrogen as fuel, and combining both the two will produce water. All these resources will be available right on to the Moon.
Moreover, the Moon has some special rare-metals deposits as well which are hard to be found on Earth. Those metals are exceptionally hard to mine on Earth and there are only a few countries that have large deposits. Even those countries don’t mine because it can cause massive environmental and human damages that can come from pollution.
Apart from China, it’s the only country that mines rare earth metals without any pollution concern. China has 30% of the planet’s rare-Earth supply and is taking 95% control over the worldwide market.
Having these rare-Earth metals on the Moon will help to reduce pollution on the earth because of mining to some extent.
That’s just a little new ways how Humans are planning to do things now in outer space. Its going to be interesting in future!