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Moon mine 'could start in 50 years'

John Zarnecki, professor of Space Science at the Open University, says there is "no doubt" that rare earth elements do exist on the moon but "we have a long time to wait" before they will become "economically viable".
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Robotic excavations could help get Helium 3 from moon to earth

Former ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair has outlined the possibility of getting Helium-3, found on the moon, through "robotic excavations" to earth, in an attempt to resolve the planet's future energy needs.
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Dennis Hope, self-proclaimed Head Cheese of the Lunar Embassy, will promise you the moon. Or at least a piece of it. Since 1980, Hope has raked in over $9 million selling acres of lunar real estate for $19.99 a pop. So far, 4.25 million people have purchased a piece of the moon, including celebrities like Barbara Walters, George Lucas, Ronald Reagan, and even the first President Bush. Hope says he exploited a loophole in the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits nations from owning the moon.

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Ed ~  yawn

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After 40 years, man is preparing to return to the Moon. But this time the astronauts won't just land on the Moon - they plan to stay.
From his office in Nevada, Dennis Hope has spawned a multi-million dollar business selling lunar real estate.
But scientists believe the real prize is trapped in the Moon's rocks. It contains large deposits of an extremely rare gas called Helium-3. Could Helium-3 be mined and used as a new source of almost inexhaustible, clean and pollution-free energy on Earth? Whoever succeeds in transporting Helium-3 back to Earth could solve the world's energy crisis.
Who will win what has been dubbed the second Moon race? And should we be exploiting the Moon's valuable resources at all?

Download (18.1mb, mp4)
Horizon program  broadcast on Tuesday 10 April 2007, 9pm, BBC Two

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When we set up a permanent base on the moon, how will the colonists keep themselves going? How will they get oxygen to breathe, and where will they find building materials, not to mention silicon for all the solar panels they will need?
Easy, says Geoffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland, Ohio. All these materials can be made from moon dust.
Landis's plan is to use just one chemical shipped from Earth - potassium fluoride, in crystal form - to extract a range of useful materials from the "regolith" that makes up the moon's surface.

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Russia is planning to mine a rare fuel on the Moon by 2020 with a permanent base and a heavy-cargo transport link.

"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.

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 Kliper spaceship and the Parom, a space capsule intended to tug heavy cargo containers around space.
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.

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