Off World

China is going to mine the Moon for helium-3 fusion fuel

StefanCretuJanuary 26th 2015
  • Although the Sun dispenses ample amounts of helium-3 wherever it blows, the Earth is largely shielded from this windfall by its own magnetic field. The little we do have is mostly generated by various terrestrial processes like cosmic ray bombardment and even relic sources from leftover nuclear warheads.
  • The Moon, on the other hand, is a far more concentrated depot with up to five million tons conveniently embedded in its top surface layer.
  • Chang’e 3’s main mission was only to take spectrographic and ground penetrating radar measurements, but the Chang’e 5 missions will bring back the first samples containing the actual prize — fusion-ready helium-3.

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