The moon is made of two main types of rocks: anorthosite and basalt. Light-colored anorthosite contains the mineral plagioclase feldspar. Dark-colored basalt contains pyroxene, olivine and ilmenite as well as volcanic glass. According to a February 2012 Washington Post article, the moon is increasingly being looked at as a potential source of what are known as “rare earth elements.” Another potentially valuable resource on the moon is the isotope Helium-3, “that in the future may support cold fusion when earthlings finally figure out how to make it happen.”
It has been discovered that the moon has many rare earth elements on and under its surface, including the potential nuclear fuel helium-3. This rather abundant resource on the moon is a potential clean energy of the future, and has the interest of the United States, the European Union, China, India, Japan, and Russia. All are in talks about having permanent moon bases installed on the surface to facilitate drilling and mining operations by the 2020’s. It is said that one shuttle full of helium-3 would be enough to power the United States for a year.
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