04 Jul '11, 12pm

Plans to strip mine the moon may soon be more than just science-fiction

Plans to strip mine the moon may soon be more than just science-fiction

Billions of tonnes of resources, ranging from water to gases to metals, have been detected on the Moon and further out into space, and both governments and private companies are navigating the ambiguous legal parlance to determine how to reach, extract and distribute it all. Vast quantities of the isotope Helium-3 are known to exist on the Moon, as well as in the atmospheres of planets like Jupiter, and could come into high demand as the essential fuel for the so-called 'golden dream' of nuclear fusion power. While existing nuclear fission plants break apart atoms and harvest the excess energy, nuclear fusion combines atoms of hydrogen to create helium, a process that releases vast amounts of energy. According to Matthew Genge, lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London, the Moon’s lack of atmosphere means it has been bombarded by high-energy particl...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/962678/pla...

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