reports were swim around which China happened to approve three new moon missions following the discovery of a new crystal-like mineral that could prove crucial to future energy production.
There’s even a new name for the new mineral collected on lunar soil: Change side (Y)
The International Mineralogical Association has approved the name of a new mineral (Changesite 嫦娥石) discovered in Chang’e-5 lunar soil a day before the Mid-Autumn Festival #CNSA pic.twitter.com/oprBGkwhBC
— Yuqi Qian (@YuqiiQian) September 9, 2022
That was announced at the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) a few days earlier. The samples in which this mineral was found are believed to predate other samples collected by previous missions from the US and Soviet Union by 1 billion years.
China is the third country to discover a new moon mineral, and to be fair nothing has happened on the subject in the last 40 years. Nevertheless, that is a historic achievement.
All of that is nice, but what is the energy angle? Well, this new mineral I said contain helium 3a form of helium that is almost non-existent on Earth and could be extremely valuable in the context of nuclear fusion energy.
Without going too deep into the details, helium 3 could be an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion as it would provide a lot of energy without emitting so much radiation that could damage the reactor.
The potential abundance of helium-3 on the moon is not new, as is the idea of mining the moon China has been swimming since 2014. Such a price could trigger a space race back to the moon, and that’s why you’ve been hearing more about the “return to the moon” in recent years.
This discovery may have helped define what to look for and where to start mining. In his “Helium-3 power generationIn his article, Christopher Barnatt mentions that a space shuttle’s worth of helium could power the entire United States for a year, which would be worth the huge cost of space mining.
While this opens up incredible prospects, despite significant advances in recent years, nuclear fusion is nowhere near operational. Researchers working on fusion reactors have managed to extend the stability of nuclear fusion, and there is a possibility that it could work and change the world for the better in the not too distant future.
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