Thursday, September 18, 2008

Indian rocket expected to go to moon, next month

Indian space scientists expect to map the lunar surface for the helium-3 (He-3) mineral to fuel nuclear power plants and frozen water as they make final preparations for India’s mission to the moon, expected to blast off next month.He-3 is scarce on earth but believed to be abundant on earth’s natural satellite and is seen by some as a promising fuel for advanced fusion reactors to generate power.

The Chandrayaan-I mission is tentatively scheduled for launch between October 19 and 28.575-kg spacecraft will be transported to the moon by a modified version of India’s main rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. “The mission will help us locate He-3, which has the potential to produce a large amount of energy. It is expected that in a few years we can transport it from the moon to run nuclear plants and generate electricity,” the director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite centre T K Alex said.

IMO: I hope it is worth the money and trouble. The Chinese also seem to want He-3.

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