Executive Intelligence Review


India’s Second Moon Mission Lays the Basis for He-3 Mining in the Future

June 27, 2018 (EIRNS)—India is preparing its second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, for launch later this year, to continue its lunar exploration program. India’s first lunar mission, an orbiter, with help from an instrument contributed by NASA, increased our picture of the extent of water ice on the Moon. This second mission will include a lander and a rover.

A Bloomberg wire focuses in on the Indian scientists’ stress on the importance of one particular resource on the Moon—fusion fuel, helium-3. The article implies that the Chandrayaan-2 rover will be able to find helium-3. In fact, as far as we know, helium-3 is in the lunar soil only in parts per billion. It took scientists on Earth with the most sophisticated laboratory equipment to find helium-3 in lunar samples brought back by Apollo astronauts. The helium-3 is not in a concentrated form, but there is a lot of it.

Gerald Kulcinski, head of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin, the article reports, estimates there are 1 million tons of helium-3 embedded in the lunar soil. He believes that only a quarter of that could realistically be brought back to Earth, but that is still enough to meet current world energy demand for at least two centuries, maybe as many as five, Kulcinski says.

Indian scientists are looking toward the next steps in lunar exploration, most likely to include a lunar sample return mission, as is also being planned by China.

K. Sivan, the head of the Indian Space Research Organization said that ISRO envisions a series of space missions, including a space station, and an Indian crew on the Moon. “We are ready and waiting,” Sivan said.