The Space Age “Gold Rush” for water, rare earth elements, and helium isotopes worth quadrillions of dollars begins!
Last week, we reported that India landed its Chandrayaan-3 mission safely on the moon’s unexplored south pole.
It’s rover has been busy since then, making some intriguing discoveries about the elements present on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3 has detected sulphur in the moon’s soil, which an expert said could reveal more about the origins of our lunar neighbour.
It marks the first time sulphur has been found on the moon’s south ‘in situ’ – so in the place it exists, rather than detected from a distance by an orbiter, the country’s space agency said.
Chandrayaan-3 has also found aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon, and oxygen, while the search for hydrogen is now underway.
This development heralds the start of a Space Age “Gold Rush”, for rare elements that are needed for today’s technology.
Rather than being about national pride and establishing technological superiority, the likes of China, Russia, India and the US are now interested in the moon’s valuable resources and how they can be mined.
From rare Earth metals used in smartphones to helium that could perhaps provide an invaluable source of energy, the lunar surface is a multi-quadrillion-pound hotbed of unearthed riches.
And that includes H20.
Deposits of frozen water – which could be used not only for drinking but also broken down into hydrogen for fuel or oxygen to breathe – are scattered across the moon’s south pole.
An estimated $1.5 quadrillion worth of a rare helium isotope is on the moon. The isotope could be useful in getting nuclear fusion energy options in the future.
I am thrilled to report India also intends to launch a mission to the Sun, which will launch in the next few days.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced its first mission to the sun will launch on September 2.
A massive four-stage rocket is waiting to launch from an island on India’s eastern coast to deliver Aditya-L1 1.5 million miles to the sun to study solar winds, which can affect astronauts and technology.
…Aditya-L1, which means ‘sun’ in Sanskrit, is waiting patiently on the island of Sriharikota on India’s east coast inside the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle that is standing tall on the pad but is set to travel around one million miles from Earth.
The Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around the sun-Earth system’s Lagrangian point 1 (L1), allowing the craft to observe the sun continuously.
L1 is an area in space where the gravity of the sun and the Earth balance each other out.
The region in space is also the orbit for NASA and the ESA’s Solar and Heliosphere Observatory, which has circled the sun since 1996 – a mission that scientists believe cost $1.27 billion.
I believe the Sun’s role in Earth’s climate climate is underappreciated. All data we can obtain from the solar missions will be extremely valuable…and a bargain when the cost of “net zero” fantasy compliance is calculated.DONATE
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