222. RUSSIA TO MINE LUNAR FUEL BY 2020
Omnitir will be continuing his series on space industrialization in the next article, but first I wanted to post this related news as a warm-up:
Russia to Mine "Ideal Fuel" on the Moon by 2020This is a positive sign, which will hopefully lead to increased competition among the great powers (US, EU, Russia, China, Japan) in the race for space dominance. Russia is the clear leader at the moment. They have a long, illustrious history as space pioneers, are the current world leaders in cheap, reliable launch technology, and shouldn't be facing any funding problems for a long time due to the windfalls provided by their vast remaining fossil fuel deposits.
Created: 25.01.2006 19:19 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 19:19 MSK, 8 hours 41 minutes ago
Russia is planning to mine a rare fuel on the moon by 2020 with a permanent base and a heavy-cargo transport link, a Russian space official quoted by AFP said on Wednesday.
"We are planning to build a permanent base on the moon by 2015 and by 2020 we can begin the industrial-scale delivery... of the rare isotope Helium-3," Nikolai Sevastyanov, head of the Energia space corporation, was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying at an academic conference.
The International Space Station (ISS) would play a key role in the project and a regular transport relay to the moon would be established with the help of the planned Clipper spaceship and the Parom, a space capsule intended to tug heavy cargo containers around space, Sevastyanov said.
Helium-3 is a non-radioactive isotope of helium that can be used in nuclear fusion.
Rare on earth but plentiful on the moon, it is seen by some experts as an ideal fuel because it is powerful, non-polluting and generates almost no radioactive by-product.Source
-- by JD