ISRO to step on unexplored side of the moon to harness trillion dollars’ worth of nuclear energy
- ISRO plans to reach the south side of the moon where no nation has gone before.
- They have plans to study potential mining of
helium-3, a a source of waste-free nuclear energywhich is worth trillions of dollars.
- If successful, the mission could add significantly to the scientific, military and commercial gains of the country and the world.
Helium-3 is a source of waste-free nuclear energy which, when harnessed, is worth trillions of dollars. The Helium-3 isotope can provide safer nuclear energy as it is not radioactive and doesn't produce dangerous waste products.
The Helium-3 isotopes are limited on Earth but found in abundance on the moon due to the heavy solarwinds it is in contact with. If the isotopes on the moon are harnessed, they could theoretically meet the global energy demands for 250 years. However, that could require overcoming a lot of difficulties like mining the lunar surface and building of power plants for starters.
The exploration on the moon is open to all countries and therefore,
China had put a rover on the moon in 2013 with its Chang'e 3 mission and has plans to return later this year to explore the far side. Furthermore, US is calling for astronauts to return to the moon too, and NASA has proposed a $19 billion budget to launch a lunar orbiter by the early 2020s.
ISRO’s estimated budget, about $1.7 billion, is less than a 10th of NASA’s, but having said that, ISRO’s hallmarks include getting the job done cheaply yet effectively. The upcoming mission will cost about $125 million which is less than a quarter of Snap Inc co-founder’s compensation last year, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.
India’s confidence in the success of this mission has increased because it has already had one successful moon mission. The Chandrayaan-1 craft, launched by India in October 2008, had discovered molecules of water in the lunar surface for the first time.
The upcoming launch called
Rakesh Sharma, a famous Indian space traveller, said that even if India reaches the moon first, one can not draw boundaries there. He wants India to show that its capable of utilising
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