Colonization of Moon and setting up an eventual base is the aspiration of every global power. Former DRDO scientist A Sivathanu Pillai has claimed that India will be able to set up a base on Moon in ten years for extraction of the Helium-3.
Speaking to the “War and Peace” programme on DD News, Pillai said, “In the space programme, we are one of the four countries that have complete mastery over technology.” Pillai, said, “India will be able to set up a factory on Moon to process huge reserves of precious raw material and bring the extracted Helium-3 to Earth.
Helium-3 will be the new energy material for future, he said. Helium-3 is a non-radioactive material that can produce 100 times more energy than Uranium.
Pillai said India’s base on Moon will also “become a hub for future launches” for missions to other planets in the solar system. He said, “Now, there are interests from the US, Russia and China to create a base on Moon, (so) India will naturally follow”.
While NASA and the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) compete for the lunar domination, the European Space Agency (ESA) earlier announced plans for a permanent lunar base in 2016. The vision is to have a distinct people – from scientists to artists – and both public and private organisations.
Ariel Ekblaw, the founder of the MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, also wants to “democratise space” and, to this end, has brought together multi-disciplinary research groups ranging from robotics and synthetic neurobiology to architecture, art, space and design.
Not everyone used to think this way but ESA science advisor, Aidan Cowley, also welcomed Woerner’s idea as he was one of the first to work on lunar technologies at ESA’ European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. “At first everyone looked at me as if I had a second head,” he laughs, “so for me, it’s been very satisfying to see the uptick in interest and this focus on the Moon.
NASA intends to land astronauts on the lunar surface by 2030 and is preparing a lunar orbiting platform called the Gateway. Private companies are heading to the Moon too. Blue Origin, for example, is partnering with OHB and MT Aerospace on its Blue Moon cargo ship for a lunar landing.
But whichever organisation gets there first, the key priority will be survival. The longest time humans have remained on the Moon so far is just three days. For longer stays, it’s not the most promising destinations.
With Inputs from the BBC