Mining the moon - MyMoon

NASA and MyMoon have teamed up to blog about everything lunar. Art, literature, music, movies, science, and everything in between!

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MINING THE MOON

Going along with the majority of my blogs, this one will be about the future of the moon and a possible reason to colonize and continuously plan return missions.

Mining on the moon is a very possible outcome if the moon is to become colonized in the future. However, before mining would be possible, it would be necessary to determine if there are resources available on the moon that are scarce on Earth. If this is the case, the moon would be a great place to recover these resources. The environment of the Earth would not be getting destroyed from this mining, like was the case with coal mining on Earth. From dong my research, I have learned that there is a substance located on the moon that is very rare, Helium 3. This substance is located just beneath the surface of the moon and would require very little drilling or digging. Plus, there are estimates of millions of kilograms of Helium 3 on the moon. This substance is used mainly in nuclear reactions, but could be what is needed to achieve fusion energy; however, the downfall is that this would also allow for many more nuclear bombs around the world.

There are a few organizations that are suggesting mining for this substance, and the movie "Moon" was about mining this substance.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

COMMUNITY COMMENTS:

Dennis M J M.

Saturday Sep-29-2012

interesting point about the proliferation of nuclear devices. For my two cents it was the same dilemma that has always accompanied great technical advance. For example, the same missiles that deliver nuclear payloads are the same type of thing that allow men to leave the atmosphere; then we call them rockets. Rockets and missiles are ultimately the same thing though. This takes me back to my last blog here, the main thing we need to advance is our attitudes and awareness. A single family home could have a small nuclear reactor in the basement that could provide infinite power (relatively) to that house for what, 100, 200 , 300 or more years ? The reason Home Depot doesn't sell small home reactors is obvious though, isn't it. I heard a great saying one time that really speaks to this; a well developed nation isn't one where the poor have cars, its one where the rich take public transit. When we are responsible and ready enough the technology will be passed down.

As far as H3, yes, it can be used as a nuclear fuel, but it also is useful for many other things including more conventional fuels. I would say the best use of mining the moon immediately is that we can use the silicates to make bases and craft, we can use the H3 for fuel and it makes a good 'jumping off' point for further and deeper exploration. Even if these elements are not rare on earth, every kilogram we can mine in space is one less we have to take from teh earth and pay to sent to orbit, not to mention those nasty little holes we're always munching in the atmosphere ;p Great post, as always.

Dennis M J M.

Saturday Sep-29-2012

typos in above post, lol

*teh = the

*sent = send

*munching = punching

gyar !


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