Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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China Will Strip Mine the Moon for Rare Element


Going underground is an option for a manned Moon colony.

Chinese state media reported the service module of a test lunar orbiter has successfully began orbiting the Moon.

This lunar mission will see the Chang'e 5 spacercraft perform a soft landing on the surface of the Moon and later collect four pounds of rock and soil samples before returning home.

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If the mission is successful, it will make China the third country to reach the Earth's natural satellite after the U.S. and Russia.

China is planning to build a mine on the Moon in order to search for a rare helium isotope scientists believe could be the key source of energy in the future. According to Ouyang Ziyuan who is the chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, the moon is apparently rich with Helium 3 that could easily solve humanity's never ending demand for energy.

Scientists also claim Helium 3 can clean fusion plants since the isotope is light and isn't radioactive. This could lead to the development of renewable energy in nuclear fusion.

Scientists such as Matthew Genge, a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at the Imperial College in London, says that when nuclear fusion is used with Helium 3, it doesn't produce any extra neutrons. This means it could produce an immense amount of energy without the excess of radioactive waste as opposed to fission reactions.

To date, 40 tons of Helium 3 can fill up entire cargo bays of two space shuttles. This amount can power the U.S. for a whole year at its current rate of energy consumption.

The reason why Helium 3 is especially rare on Earth is because the atmosphere and the magnetic field surrounding the planet prevents any solar Helium 3 from landing on the surface.

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