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01/26/2006 10:31 AM ID: 52466 Permalink   

Russia Launches Moon Mining Plans

 

Russia has announced that it plans to have a permanent mine set up on the moon by 2020, which will be used to mine Helium-3, a non-radioactive fuel that can be used to boost nuclear energy with almost no side effects.

The head of Russia’s Energia space corporation, Nikolai Sevastyanov, said: “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.”

Russia also said that the International Space Station would play a key role in the venture.

 
  Source: news.yahoo.com  
    WebReporter: NuttyPrat Show Calling Card      
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  28 Comments
  
  Helium-3  
   
  by: lauriesman     01/26/2006 11:49 AM     
  Cool  
 
Even though their doing it for Nuclear research the idea of a moon base is just awesome. Looking forward to hearing about it in 7 to 10 years.
 
  by: zephan     01/26/2006 12:45 PM     
  hmm  
 
Is this really a good idea? I donno I think it could be cause for some negetive effects.
 
  by: bloodlusting Zombie   01/26/2006 12:57 PM     
  Except for potential secret military uses...  
 
I don't see *any* negative effects.
 
  by: lynxdk   01/26/2006 02:46 PM     
  secret military uses?  
 
if having a military base on the moon is viable, then the US and a couple other countries will have done it already. no big deal.
 
  by: maverick7h     01/26/2006 04:18 PM     
  mining on the moon  
 
bad idea indeed. I exspect some hamfisted approach and some kind of resultant eco disaster. Messing with the moon means messing with the seas and tides as well as the suns reflection in winter. If they find something usefull up there i dont exspect them to stop till its too late. i just cant understand why people keep finding ways to harm this planet. Mass mining of the moon is a real bad idea.
 
  by: JOCKSTEELUK   01/26/2006 04:23 PM     
  @JOCKSTEEL  
 
It would take A LOT of material removal to affect the tides and the sun's reflection! The only side effect that I see being viable is, as maverick said, military bases.
 
  by: SpeedRacer   01/26/2006 05:05 PM     
  Cheesy but possible  
 
Space virus burried deep under the moons surface gets released and transported to earth. billions die!!!!!
 
  by: ether1000   01/26/2006 06:59 PM     
  hmm  
 
I still Don't Like it... The moons plays a pretty important role and is most deffently not a renewable resource.. Pluss i still dont trust them ruskies after that hole cold war thang... j/k kinda
 
  by: bloodlusting Zombie   01/26/2006 07:40 PM     
  possible military applications?  
 
Im thinking that russia wont use this for the military. I mean its possible but I would think the chances of the US putting military weapons on the moon is more probable. What with the US being the only nation that didnt agree to make space non-militarized. I think even China agreed to keep space non-militarized... Guess we will just have to wait and see.
 
  by: slavefortheman     01/26/2006 08:05 PM     
  n/t  
 
The moon has a major impact on how our earth is oriented. On discovery they said that if there was no moon the earth would rotate vertically and one of the poles would end up being the equator. So if there they dug up the moon and changed its density wouldnt it go off its orbiting track and go flying into space?
 
  by: twixt01   01/26/2006 11:00 PM     
  They aren't mining the moon  
 
They are setting up a base there for mining Helium-3, a gas, not rocks and minerals.

In fact the term 'mining' is not really appropriate.

Still, I'd like to know 'why the moon?' - I mean, apart from the lack of an ecosystem to foul with any processing, and no neighbours, what benefit is there to 'mining' Helium-3 there instead of in factories on Earth? Perhaps it has something to do with gravity.
 
  by: lauriesman     01/26/2006 11:06 PM     
  Digging around...  
 
Helium 3 is the decay product of the radioactive isotope of hydrogen called tritium (one proton and two neutrons).

Tritium has a half-life of about 12.5 years and decays by emitting an electron and an electron antineutrino, changing one of the neutrons into a proton in the process.

No He4 is made by tritium decay, since each He4 nucleus actually is more massive than a tritium nucleus. The He3 can easily be separated chemically from the tritium (for example, it will not react with oxygen to form water as tritium will). Most, if not all, of the purified He3 available for scientific use is made this way, primarily from tritium produced in reactors run to make materials for nuclear weapons.

Uhm... mining?
 
  by: lauriesman     01/26/2006 11:08 PM     
  illegal?  
 
I was under the impression that the moon was a reserve similar to antartica to be sued for research purposes only.

However that might be their loophole. This is probably going to be used for fusion research. Look up ITER in wiki...
 
  by: jendres     01/26/2006 11:22 PM     
  @lauriesman  
 
Its because Helium-3 is very very very very very, etc, etc... rare on earth.

Its thought that solar winds deposit this helium on the moons surface. Since we have a thick atmosphere and the moon has none this is why it is 'theoretically' abundant.

Acording to space.com's research the value of helium-3 is about $4 Billion per ton. They estimate there is roughly about 1 million tons on the moon and it would only take about 25 tons per year to fully power the entire earth.

Course this is all just theory still. Still need to design and build the reactors capable of doing this. And to date nobody has created a stable fusion reactor capable of generating more power than it uses.
 
  by: slavefortheman     01/26/2006 11:54 PM     
  @jendres  
 
Haha, and then there's that idiot who thinks that he owns the solar system. Like any government is going to honour that deed.
 
  by: Fratley   01/27/2006 02:49 AM     
  the new resource  
 
Hey I can see in a couple of years down the road
energy corporations will have their own little wars for
patches of the moon with the most helium 3....kind of
like the middle east and oil....
 
  by: rj2   01/27/2006 02:58 AM     
  In the future  
 
we may see someone shoot the moon, literally.
 
  by: LuxFestinus     01/27/2006 05:33 AM     
  the Moon Agreement 1979  
 
http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/...
http://www.spacelaw.com.au/...

russia hasn't signed up to it though. This is the one which treats the moon like Antartica.

However there is the Outer Space treaty which is more widely covered. The principles of which are:
1. Space, including celestial bodies, is the province of mankind and developed for the benefit of mankind;
2. Space, including celestial bodies, is free for exploration, use and exploitation by all;
3. Celestial bodies cannot be appropriated by any nation;
4. Celestial bodies shall be used only for peaceful purposes; and
5. International law extends to space and celestial bodies.
 
  by: jendres     01/27/2006 06:16 AM     
  treaty bah  
 
that treaty will become nothing but a footnote of a
footnote....i mean who will actually enforce these
amendments once there are pirates, corporations, and
rogue nations are in space......it is truly the final
frontier with no authority
 
  by: rj2   01/27/2006 07:22 AM     
  teh space treaty  
 
I think people will stick to the treaty as long as they can make money in space. Thats why we havnt really gone any further than our own orbit so far. Once big companies realize there is money to be made on the moon and further out, they will set up shop. Look at the communications industry. Satellites are a big money maker for them. If energy companies find cheap ways to mine materials on the moon they will jump at it. Same with many other industries. Yes there will prolly be some laws bent or broken since we are talking about corporations but for the most part as long as they are making huge profits I doubt they would really have a need to break the treaty. Plus I think someone cannot claim a body in space but they can claim its use. In other words they can mine, study, etc. it but cannot say it is their property. IMO its almost the same as owning it.
 
  by: slavefortheman     01/27/2006 02:16 PM     
  No adverse affects at all  
 
Give me a break - If mining the moon caused gravity related issues then mining the earth would have sent the little moon into a spin years ago.
Virus issues - we played that out in ancient history (the 70's)The moon is dead.
Military - orbital nukes were banned by treaty with US and Russia. I would have feared low or high orbital nukes (we probably have some left over from when we lied back then.
Economics- We should have been mining the moon 15-20 years ago. The asteroids 10 years ago and by now buying slurpies at the Martian 7-11. My only fear is that all the good mining will be done by Chinese labor making 25 cents an hour and the mining engineers will be from India.
 
  by: starmutt   01/27/2006 10:32 PM     
  any operations  
 
on the moon will probably be led by China and Russia first. The US is the only one of the big 3 that have yet to promise to create a permanent colony on the moon. Might be hard to budget that out what with all the wars we want to fight and all...

Russia has set a goal to land on the moon by 2015, China in 2017 and finally the US in 2018. We may miss out on the best spots to set up shop if we dont get our butts in gear. Course not sure how our nasa budget is gona look by then. What with the iraq war estimated to cost 2 tril. and all.
 
  by: slavefortheman     01/27/2006 11:02 PM     
  hahaha  
 
interesting how everyone is an expert at this and dismisses my comments even though i'm probably the only one here who has studied this in the slightest.
(Aerospace law and aerospace engineering)

ah well...
 
  by: jendres     01/30/2006 05:01 AM     
  Can't resist ... must comment...  
 
"i'm probably the only one here who has studied this in the slightest"

My Grandma, what a big ego you have... besides, I don't see anyone really dismissing your comments... well, until now ;o)
 
  by: lynxdk   01/30/2006 05:28 AM     
  @lynx  
 
ego? Or just the facts? (B.Eng Aerospace Avionics)

And if you didn't see the comments dismissing the treaty...

"Haha, and then there's that idiot who thinks that he owns the solar system. Like any government is going to honour that deed." - Fratley

"that treaty will become nothing but a footnote of a
footnote..." - rj2

Well, you might have an inferiority complex but I'm not going to rub it in. Ooops already have.
 
  by: jendres     01/30/2006 05:43 AM     
  yah, you got me pegged ^^  
 
n/t
 
  by: lynxdk   01/30/2006 06:03 AM     
  @jendres  
 
Jendres, honestly if a country, state, organization,
corp. etc., has a base on the moon, or ships in space
who will be the ultimate authority? It will be the new
frontier, and there will be lawlessness
 
  by: rj2   01/30/2006 07:45 AM     
 
 
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