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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2080/1701

Title: Scope of mining on the moon - a critical appraisal
Authors: Jayanthu, S
Tripathi, B
Sandeep, A
Issue Date: Nov-2011
Citation: Golden Jubilee celebration & MineTECH'11 of The Indian Mining & Engineering Journal' held at Hotel Babylon Inn 18-19 Nov 2011 Raipur
Abstract: This paper presents a critical review of mineral resources available on the moon. Samples collected in 1969 by Neil Armstrong during the first lunar landing showed that helium-3 concentrations in lunar soil are at least 13 parts per billion (ppb) by weight. Levels may range from 20 to 30 ppb in undisturbed soils. Quantities as small as 20 ppb may seem too trivial to consider. But at a projected value of $40,000 per ounce, 220 pounds of helium-3 would be worth about $141 million. Because the concentration of helium-3 is extremely low, it would be necessary to process large amounts of rock and soil to isolate the material. Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3-- enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year. Although considerable lunar soil would have to be processed, the mining costs would not be high by terrestrial standards. Automated machines might perform the w...
Description: Copyright belongs to proceeding publisher
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2080/1701
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