Russian miners over the moon

Russia has announced plans to mine a rare fuel on the Moon by 2020, and to establish 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,’ said Nikolai Sevastyanov, head […]

Russia has announced plans to mine a rare fuel on the Moon by 2020, and to establish 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,’ said Nikolai Sevastyanov, head of the Space Corporation Energia.



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 a planned Clipper spaceship and the Parom, a space capsule that would tug heavy cargo containers around space, Sevastyanov said.



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 viewed by some experts as an excellent fuel because it is non-polluting and generates almost no radioactive by-products.