How difficult will it be to mine helium on the moon and then transport it back to earth?



  1. 0 Votes

    The helium of interest on the moon is helium-3, which is an isotope of the more common helium-4 found in party balloons. It is a natural decay-product of the decay of tritium.

    Helium-3 is somewhat scarce on earth, but comparatively plentiful on the moon. It is of value in the fusion process, and is non-radioactive.

    However, its mining is not yet commercially viable, mostly because we do not yet employ fusion reactors. Additionally, it has to be processed, so there would be either the cost of building a lunar processing plant, or the cost of transporting additional material from which the helium-3 is extracted.

    Note that helium-3 is currently being used for fusion research, and the sources are mostly byproducts of tritium.

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