India has been in news on and off for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes our verbally questing politicians make waves for failing to understand when to draw the line. And sometimes we hit the headlines for being the most unsafe place for women. However, that is not all that is there to see. We are a nation with a very capable taskforce which wants to leave a mark for all the right reasons. Adding to its arsenal of forward-thinking and scientific research India’s space program is aiming to go where no one has – to the Moon’s southern side.
The ever-increasing demand for fuel has every nation worried. Our very future depends on its uninterrupted supply. But, the sore truth is that on Earth we have only limited reserves. These reserves come with fast-approaching deadlines. And yet the demand keeps on increasing. In order to seek out newer fuel pastures ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) will launch a rover to the southern side of the moon in the search for water and Helium 3.
Why Helium 3?
The gas, Helium 3, has the potential to be used as a fuel in the nuclear power plants. In theory, this particular isotope, if harnessed, has the capability to meet the global demand for energy for 250 years. It is believed that Moon has abundant deposits of Helium 3. This is because it is constantly bombarded with solar winds and also does not have a magnetic field.
Furthermore, the other reason for mining Helium 3 is that it provides safer nuclear energy. It is not radioactive in nature. Also, because it is not radioactive it does not make for hazardous waste products.
Expectations Vs Reality
Realistically speaking only a quarter of Helium 3 reserves can be brought back from the moon. Arguably the main challenge would be in devising the means to mine it and then transport it to Earth. in addition, the temperatures required to achieve the fusion of Helium 3 is far higher than conventional fusion reactions. This will translate to building special fusion power plants where such high temperatures could be reached.
While the future is bright we still need to work hard to make it a reality.
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