The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants to study the potential for mining a source of waste-free nuclear energy from the southern part of the moon and it could fetch trillions of dollars to India in return.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian space agency ISRO has set for itself an ambitious target to reach the south side of the moon in search of nuclear energy. The ISRO’s chief told the news agency Bloomberg that it will launch a rover in October this year to explore virgin territory on the lunar surface and analyze crust samples for signs of water and helium-3. The moon mission will be called Chandrayaan II, next in the series of Chandrayaan I, which was a success.
The helium isotope, if explored in abundance on the south side of the moon, could then theoretically meet global energy demands for 250 years if harnessed, the Bloomberg report reads.
“Theoretically meet global energy demands for 250 years if harnessed” is a pretty significant statement. Nuclear energy without the hassle of nuclear waste is a game changer. The resources available in space can more than meet our needs on Earth, and propel us into the cosmos. And I think it may be more than a little naive to think that with resources such as these available for anyone to pluck that it will be entirely civil out there. A Space Force is needed now to be ready when we are harnessing these materials in the years to come. It’s one of the many reasons it was such a great idea for President Trump to pitch it.
With plans for a lunar gateway in preparation for future trips to the moon and beyond, the United States is positioning itself to remain a leader in global energy production and at the forefront of space exploration. Space exploration mirrors the economy in many ways. For better or worse it takes competition to push the boundaries to what is achievable. Collaborative space efforts have yielded some impressive results but really haven’t pushed the barriers of space exploration. I think India and China pressing for moon colonies and resource acquisition bodes well for pushing the United States into the race and beyond.