China plans moon-mining missions

China plans three new missions to the moon after discovering unique phosphate

Tech Desk September 14, 2022
An image provided by Our Space, a science website affiliated with China National Space Administration, and, according to the website, was captured by Chinese rover Yutu-2 on the far side of the moon, shows a cube-like object in this image provided to Reuters December 8, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

China plans to launch new missions to the moon and possibly mine a mineral from the celestial body's surface. The country is already planning three moon orbiters in the next 10 years.

The Chang’e-5 mission in 2020 made a discovery and bought back a new variant of the phosphate mineral in columnar crystal, dubbed Changesite-(Y). Containing helium-3, the new phosphate could offer a potential new energy source. Bloomberg reported that the country is also planning to make a moon-based international research station.

Russia and the US have discovered five minerals on the moon, in the past but his recent novel mineral is quite unlike what has been found previously.

The phosphate has columnar crystal formations with unknown properties, which could provide foundations for future moon-based farming. The helium-3 that the mineral contains, can be a possible future energy source.

China's space plans and missions have increased over the years, with its space station and its achievement of landing a rover Zhurong on Mars in 2021.


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