Russians Mining the Moon

Nikolay Sevastyanov, head of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Russia has announced a plan to land on the moon for the purpose of mining for Helium-3. This is part of a new set of objectives for the International Space Statation that could make the ISS more prominent, not only for science experiments, but also as a platform for launching onward to the moon.

The Russians Have a goal of starting their mining by 2020. Helium-3 is a non radioactive isotope of helium that is extremely rare here on earth. On the moon however it is in greater abundance. Helium-3 could be used to generate electricty in a fusion nuclear reactor, a bucketful of the substance could jumpstart the creation of a fusion reactor which will have no radioactive by products.

To get to the moon the russians would launch the parts of a lunar expedition in parts up to the ISS for assembly. They would leave from the space station, and set up a permanent base on the moon in the lunar seas. Experts have already mapped the locations where Helium-3 is most dense.

If successful the russians expect to be able to make money selling the substance.

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Learn about Helium-3 from Wikipedia here