China’s unmanned test lunar orbit successfully entered lunar orbit, state media reported.
The craft named Chang’e 5 is designed for a soft landing on the moon and collect at least 2kg (4 lbs) of soil and rock sample before returning home.
Completing such a task would include china in the streak after US and Russia that have accomplished such a feat.
China is looking for a rare helium isotope that researchers believe would mitigate the World’s demand for energy in the future, as per Times report.
The chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, Professor Ouyang Ziyuan said that the moon is “highly rich” in helium 3, that could “solve humanity’s energy demand for around 10,000 years at least.”
Due to the light and non-radioactive nature of the isotope, Helium 3 can be used in power fusion plants, scientists claimed. Using Helium 3 in nuclear fusion reactor plants would provide highly efficient form of nuclear power with apparently negligible radiations and no waste.
According to a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at the Imperial College in London, Matthew Genge :”Nuclear fusion using helium-3 would be cleaner, as it does not produce any spare neutrons. It should produce vastly more energy than fission reactions without the problem of excessive amounts of radioactive waste.”
Keeping the current rate of energy consumption of US, just 40 tons of Helium-3 would be enough to empower US for a year.
The specific atmosphere and magnetic environment of Earth it makes Helium-3 very rare and prevents any of the solar helium 3 from arriving on the surface.
The orbiter, which flew back to Earth in November, was loaded with support systems for operating a spaceship. It will collect further data to aid planning of the 2017 Chang’e 5 mission, state broadcaster China Central Television said.