China sees moon as source of affordable helium-3
The space program of the Celestial Empire is developing at a very rapid pace. Not so long ago, the Chanye-3 landing module left the 14th hibernation stage, and continued to work (do not confuse with Yuta, this lunar rover broke, not the landing module). Another apparatus of the Chinese, "Chanye 5-T1" not so long ago successfully returned to Earth .
The task of the next mission is to fence and deliver 4 kilograms of lunar rocks directly to Earth, in the hands of Chinese scientists. This probe must be completed by another probe, Chanie 5. Why do the Chinese have lunar rock? To assess the content there of helium isotope, rare on the Earth, helium-3. Back in August, the Chinese said that the Moon is a very promising source of this isotope, which can be used to conduct a “clean” thermonuclear reaction.
It has already been estimated that only 0.02 grams of helium-3 during the fusion reaction will release as much energy as the energy is released when one barrel of oil is completely burned. Reporters DailyMail estimated that 40 tons of helium-3 is enough to ensure US energy for the whole year.
The main source of helium-3 in the solar system is the sun, which delivers the isotope to the moon through the "solar wind". Helium-3 almost does not reach the Earth due to the presence of the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere. According to World Security Network, the cost of extracting 1 ton of helium-3 on the Moon can be $ 3 billion, which is economically viable. US experts believe that the total cost of creating an infrastructure for delivering helium-3 to Earth (creating spacecraft, starting work on the moon, developing equipment for conducting a thermonuclear reaction with helium-3) will be about $ 20 billion, the duration of this project is 20 years .
But back to the Chinese. All of them are very practical people, and just like that an expedition to the moon would hardly have been organized. But helium-3 may be enough incentive for the Chinese to develop a long-term project to study the moon. As you can see, while the project is moving in the right direction. Well, if everything works out (all the same, there are more than enough technical problems on the path to the project’s implementation - you just need to remember that it has not yet been possible to achieve any long-lasting fusion reaction), then humanity will be provided with energy for 10 thousand years - Helium-3 reserves on the Moon are very large, and are estimated at 10 million tons.