Russian Moon Base Mining Camp

The plan: go to the moon, set up a base, and mine a precious, rare radioactive material - radiactum - that will provide energy. In his 1931 novel Brigands of the Moon, Ray Cummings wrote about a lunar mining operation, giving a remarkably accurate description of the conditions:

And there were humans here now. On this tumbled plain, between Archimedes and the mountains, one small crater amid the million of its fellows was distinguished this night by the presence of humans. The Grantline camp!

...The third building seemed a lean-to banked against the cliff wall, a slanting shed-wall of glassite fifty feet high and two hundred in length. Under it, for months Grantline bores had dug into the cliff. Braced tunels were hewn penetrating back and downward into the vein of rock.

The work was over. The borers had been dismantled and packed away. At one end of the cliff the mining equipment lay piled in a ltter. There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it after his crude refining process had yielded it as waste. The ore slag lay like gray powder flakes strewn down the cliff.
(Read more about lunar mining)

It turns out that the Russians are planning to steal a page from Cummings book. In an aggressive bid to establish a capitalist reason for colonizing the Moon, Nikolai Sevastyanov (head of state-controlled RKK Energiya that built the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft) said that mining helium-3 and bringing it back to Earth would be a key priority in the moon exploration program. Helium 3, rare on Earth, could provide futuristic fusion energy.


(Nikolai Sevastyanov)

Scientists estimate that there are about one million tons of Helium 3 on the Moon; 25 tons could supply the energy needs of the US for a year. Sevastyanov's statement that they could begin mining by 2020 would be just about right; we should be getting to the end of our petroleum deposits right about then. Petroleum and natural gas plants currently produce about one-fifth of the electric power in the US.

Find out more about Ray Cummings and Brigands of the Moon; read more about Helium 3, Russian moonbase plan .

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/28/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...' - Philip K. Dick, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.