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Robotic excavations could help get Helium 3 from moon to earth


BANGALORE (PTI): Former ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair has outlined the possibility of getting Helium-3, found on the moon, through "robotic excavations" to earth, in an attempt to resolve the planet's future energy needs.

"If we can excavate, release and bring it to the earth, it will be a fantastic contribution," he said Thursday while delivering a lecture on the Moon Mission during the inauguration of the three-day global conference on Cosmologies organised here.

"In the next 10-15 years we could have robotic excavations that can get Helium-3 here," he said.

He3 is a light, non-radioactive isotope of Helium with two protons and one neutron. It is rare on Earth, and is sought for use in nuclear fusion research. The abundance of Helium-3 is thought to be greater on the Moon.

Talking about the detection of Helium-3 on the moon during India's moon mission programme, he said "Helium-3 is indirect finding."

"Basically, the titaniums which are there absorb Helium-3 and retain it, and that is confirmed by various experiments.

The signature of titanics is very clear and quite a lot of area on the lunar surface is covered with titanics, that means they will be having enough quantity of Helium-3," he said.

However, it was difficult to estimate precisely the quantity of Helium-3 at this stage, he said.

Mineral and hyper spectral imager helped detect the presence of Helium-3, he said.
On the upcoming visit of French President Nicholas Sarkozy to the ISRO facility in Bangalore on Saturday, he said, "We have strong relationship with the French space agency. We worked together on many projects. The Megha Tropiques and Saral are the two projects that are going to be realised soon. This we have been working for last several years and I am sure it will pave way for more stronger collaboration for the future."

The visit would provide momentum to the projects, he said.

Earlier speaking at the conference, he outlined India's successful mission to the moon and in tracing the presence of water on the lunar surface.

Speaking at the conference, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa outlined the significance of cosmology and references of cosmology in ancient Indian scriptures.

The three-day conference is organised by the Srinivas Jyothish Vigyan Research Foundation.

Tags:

ISRO  Moon  Helium  

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