In an unexpected comment this week, Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an adviser to China’s upcoming lunar landing this month, said one of the things China will be looking for on the Moon with its lunar lander is Helium-3. The Moon has vast resources of Helium-3 which is rare on Earth. The light, non-radioactive isotope of helium can be used to fuel nuclear fusion reactors to produce electricity. The professor commented to the BBC this week:
The Moon is also “so rich” in helium-3, which is a possible fuel for nuclear fusion, that this could “solve human beings’ energy demand for around 10,000 years at least”.
For some background on the Moon and Helium-3 see here.