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China may be looking for Next-Gen Rocket Fuel on Moon

Neil Armstrong Moon landing
China may be lookng for fuel for interplanetary space explolaration

The Chinese probe Chang’e-4 successfully performed the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon and released a rover named Yutu 2.

The landing represents a major leap forward and puts China in an elite club that have successfully sent landed rovers on alien terrain.

While Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing the mission to Mars, the experts appreciate the success of the landing and wait for the findings of the Yutu 2 rover. Notably one of the primary missions of the Yutu 2 rover to explore and identify the minerals that are found on the far side.

Image result for fusion reactor
Fusion reactors can power the next generation of rockets

And this is where it gets murky, China has already stated they have successfully built a nuclear fusion reactor. The primary fuel used in such nuclear fusion reactors are Helium isotopes, and guess which element is abundantly found on the moon? Surprise, surprise, it is Helium-3.

The concept of mining Helium-3 on moon is nothing new, with European Space Agency (ESA) having discussed this in past, and India’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) considered it for it’s Chandrayaan Mission and eventually officially kept it outside of the scope of the mission.

And Helium-3 is a compelling source of fusion energy, and theoritecally can power next-generation fusion rockets.

But that’s the key word, next-generation, fusion reactors are still decades away. But as Clive Neal, a lunar expert at University of Notre Dame told SCMP, “China thinks in decades, the US thinks in presidential terms.”

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