Forty years after man first walked on the Moon the people of Earth are now considering their options for making a new and potentially devastating use for our nearest neighbour “The Moon” running the risk of destroying one world in the name of saving another.
Just three space shuttles full of lunar soil heated to create Helium-3, could power the whole planet for years…BUT AT WHAT COST? The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says no-one owns the Moon. It is free for both exploration and for use. As such this leaves plenty of opportunity for the world’s super-powers to exercise their plans for mining the Moon.
Mankind the Destroyer of Worlds
Helium-3 is a potent, safe fuel which could be used to power nuclear power fusion reactors to produce clean electric. It is created by heating vast quantities of lunar soil (regolith). One ton of Helium-3 currently valued at $5billion (£3.27billion) and could power New York for one year. Three fully loaded space shuttles could meet the entire planet’s annual energy needs.
China leads the way followed by India and Russia, and US plans to build a Moon Base by 2021. Private investors are also funding missions. Gerald Kulcinski, director of Fusion Technological Institution at the University of Wisconsin, is convinced it’s the future. “Very small environmental impact on the Moon is far outweighed by the impact of green-house gases and having proliferation-free power sources that could last 1000 years.”
Mining the Moon
It takes one million tons of regolith to produce one ton of Helium-3. Large scale mining will scar the lunar landscape. Fundamentally changing the Moon’s atmosphere and destroying its surface.
The Moon also has other areas of important scientific value – it will be from here that future missions into deeper space, will launch, and there are also those who seek to use the ‘radio quiet’ zone on the Moon’s far side to build long-range radio telescopes…. it is not inconceivable they may find signs of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.
If we start mining one world where will it end?
We should use the Moon but not exploit it. The Moon is only a three day trip away, likely one day we’ll call it home…..
Remember! The Moon and the Earth are intricately bound together. The Moon has much influence over the tides and seas of Earth.
Damage the Moon….and who knows what damage we may do to the homeworld and the future of the human race?….