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Science
20 Feb 2017

India looks to the moon to solve energy problems

India's grand plans for space technology

According to Sivathanu Pillai, a distinguished scientist from ISRO, all of India's energy requirements are likely to be met by extracting resources from the moon by 2030.

The plan entails mining lunar dust which is rich in Helium 3.

Pillai also said that other countries across the world were working on this project as it would provide enough resources to meet world energy demands.

In context

India's grand plans for space technology

The moon as a honeymoon destination?

"By 2030, this process target [lunar mining] will be met," said Pillai, while quipping, "In [a] few decades, people will be going to [the] Moon for honey-moon."

Plans

How does ISRO plan to do it?

Pillai, who was a former chief of the BrahMos Aerospace, said that the lunar mining project was a priority for ISRO.

The plan would require creating low-cost access to the moon and creating reusable multi-purpose vehicles which would become the cornerstone of interplanetary and mining and space-tourism.

Pillai added that ISRO was also working to master nuclear fusion energy with seven other nations.

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India's presence in space

While ISRO's record-making launch of 104 satellites gained popular following, a lesser known fact is that India currently has one of the largest constellations of communications and remote-sensing satellites over the Asia Pacific region.

Military goals

India's military goals in space

While ISRO plans to solve India's energy crisis, Lieutenant General P. M. Bali, the director general of the Indian Army's Perspective Planning division, has other plans.

Lt. Bali, realizing the importance of space technology in national security, is working towards required policy and institutional frameworks to promote it.

While he acknowledged the importance of civilian space research, he stressed on the military aspects too.

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