Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Astronauts will land the Moon with spades to dig for helium-3

A few kilograms of the lunar substance will be enough to start a thermonuclear electric power station

Head of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Nikolay Sevastyanov,  said the other day that the International Space Station was getting its second wind and it got new objectives. The ISS is supposed to be used as a platform to assemble complexes sent to the Moon.Moon Earth

“One of the station docks can wonderfully do for receiving carriers with lunar blocks. This may be a lateral dock of Zvezda and Zarya modules or additional platforms on the propulsion modules,” representatives of the corporation said.

Ordinary booster rockets like Progress or Soyuz are supposed to deliver components of a lunar ship from the surface to the ISS. A flight to the Moon will require one or several stages to pull the complex to the Moon, and one spaceship for astronauts. Primarily, three pioneers will be enough to reach the Moon, circle the satellite and then get back to the surface. Subsequently, the number of astronauts may considerably increase depending upon the results of the test flight. It is not ruled out that astronauts will even have a chance to land on the Moon during the second flight.

Today, experts consider opportunities of mining helium-3, the key mineral which can be found on the Moon. The Rocket and Space Corporation Energia states that this new fuel may be even more effective than traditional ones. A few kilograms of the lunar substance will be enough to start a thermonuclear electric power station. Delivery of helium-3 from the Moon to the surface will return great profits. To begin the mining of helium-3 on the Moon, astronauts must first of all build a base for miners to live and work in. Experts already know the exact location of helium-3 fields on the Moon. A special machine will be going about the lunar surface; it will dig, warm the lunar soil, regolith, and then extract helium-3. It is planned to build such a base in one of the lunar seas.

Europeans, Americans and even Chinese also want to participate in the project. November 1, head of Russia's Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, came to China to conduct talks about the future of Russian-Chinese space cooperation.

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