Although it’s not really relevant at a first glance but Elon Musk’s gesture of opening the road to private space flight is slowly leading other ventures that could eventually benefit the energy industry in a big way.
In an interview given to New Scientist’s Paul Marks, Jain – a former Internet entrepreneur, just like Musk – talks about his glorious plans of landing on the moon.
For those that are unaware, helium-3 can be used in future fusion reactors and can provide nuclear power and unlike current fission reactors, its waste will not be radioactive. Jain thinks that the moon crust also contains gold, cobalt, iron, palladium, tungsten and other materials that in the future will become precious and more expensive here on Earth.
“Early moon-mining robots can be surprisingly small – we do not need to start with the gargantuan machines we see on Earth. Robots the size of a desk can process an impressive amount of volatile and mineral materials, which will provide the proofs of concept needed for larger investments. NASA’s RESOLVE robot, designed to retrieve water on the moon, and its RASSOR robot, made to dig soil, are typical examples of scalable systems,” he says.
In the end, he recognizes the importance of what Elon Musk’s SpaceX has done to spatial exploration: “SpaceX has blazed a trail into commercial space access. Our investors are excited about the Moon Express business model, reducing the cost of lunar access and enabling a new era of lunar economies.”
Have you ever seen Moon? I think it’s high time you did.