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A new material discovered on the Moon prompted China to announce plans to launch three unmanned missions over the next 10 years in a bid to rival the United States’ presence on Earth. Moon.

This new material found is very valuable, because it has the potential to become a future energy source thanks to the helium-3 content in it.

Quoted from IFL knowledge, this material can be used as fuel for nuclear fusion, a technology for renewable resources that is often called artificial sun. Samples from China’s Chang’e-5 mission show this material is abundant enough to be extracted from soil on the Moon.

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The three new orbiter missions were announced by China a day after the discovery of new minerals in samples taken from the Change’e-5 2020 mission. The mineral, called Changesite-(Y) is the first lunar sample to be taken since 1976.

The material itself is a transparent columnar mineral that forms crystals with a radius of only 10 microns. What makes Changesite-(Y) so special is the helium-3 in it, an important isotope that is very useful in nuclear reactions.

Current fusion reactions generally use tritium and deuterium. But these materials create many products that are difficult to accommodate, and the energy losses associated with large reactions often exceed the energy that can be extracted.

One solution to this problem is to use helium-3, an isotope that is the only stable element that has more protons than neutrons.

When mixing helium-3 and deuterium together, the reaction produces helium and one proton, which is much easier to handle than the alternative.

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Unfortunately, helium-3 is extremely rare on Earth. If nuclear fusion becomes a viable energy source, humans will need large amounts of helium-3. Because of that, Moon be an attractive target for the extraction of helium-3 in the preparation of future energy sources.

According to Bloomberg, China has now received approval for three new probes to land Moonwith the ultimate goal of creating a permanent human presence on the Moon.

In addition to China, the US through NASA and SpaceX is also trying to launch Artemis-I to the Moon. The mission will send several CubeSat satellites and the Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit. Unfortunately, engine problems and leaks meant that this mission was postponed to late September or early October 2022.

Watch the video”NASA Delays Moon Launch, Discusses Continuation of Artemis I
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