Till now you must have heard about ‘Space Race’ to ‘Arms Race’. But among all this, a race is the most important on which the future of the coming human civilization will depend. Which will be the first country to mine a significant amount of Helium-3 in space? To build nuclear fusion reactors that do not generate hazardous nuclear waste and other pollutants.
Tim Chrisman, a former CIA space analyst, said that there is an infinite amount of energy and raw materials in outer space. From helium-3 on the Moon to the heavy metals and volatile gases present on the asteroid, they can be used for Earth and space. In an interview, he said that China will certainly use any resource to harm its opponents and competitors.
Helium-3 race like launching first satellite
He claimed that China is moving towards a potential “revolution” in the field of access to energy reserves in space and space mining. In the coming time, he can leave China behind. Tim compared the Helium-3 race to the launch of the first satellite, which began between the US and Russia. He said it would be a major political and diplomatic victory.
America can use 40 tons of gas a year for electricity
He said that if it were brought to Earth, a lot would depend on how it could be used. This could potentially be a dramatic change for us. Scientists say that two Space Shuttle cargo bays fully filled with helium-3, each filled with about 40 tons of gas, could supply the United States for a year at the current rate of energy consumption.
The demand of 10,000 years can be fulfilled
Professor Ouyang Zhiyuan, chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, recently said that the Moon is “so rich” in helium-3 that it can “suffer humanity’s energy demands for at least 10,000 years”. ‘ Several leading institutions in China are now studying the rocks collected from the Chang’e 5 mission’s moon for research. In December, this mission brought about 1.73 kg of material from the Moon to Earth.
100 times more helium-3 on the Moon than on Earth
According to a report by Space.com, the first batch of 31 samples were distributed to 13 Chinese institutions in July. Huang Zhixin, a researcher in the Department of Science and Technology of the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology, told that the main objective of the research is to investigate the amount of helium-3 in the lunar soil. Helium-3 is present in very small amounts on Earth, while it is 100 times more abundant on the Moon.
Why is helium-3 the ‘treasure of space’ so special?
According to scientists, the use of helium-3 in nuclear reactors will not generate radioactive waste. With this, the energy needs of the earth will be met for many centuries to come. Helium-3 is already produced on Earth but it is very rare and expensive. It is estimated that there are huge reserves of this on the Moon. It is said that this reserve can be up to one million metric tons. Only a quarter of this stock can be brought to earth.
One expert estimates that a tonne of helium-3 could cost around $5 billion. 250,000 tons of Helium-3 can be brought from the Moon, which can cost several trillion dollars. China also sent its Chang’e 4 vehicle this year to search for Helium-3. In view of this, America, Russia, Japan and European countries are also going to step on the moon. Not only this, Amazon company owner Jeff Bezos wants to set up a colony on the moon.