Sunday, September 27, 2009

BBC Horizon - Moon for sale

From his office in Nevada, entrepreneur Dennis Hope has spawned a multi-million dollar property business selling lunar real estate. It sounds far-fetched, but according to Hope, nearly 4,000,000 people have already signed up - including George Lucas, John Travolta, Tom Hanks and even George W Bush. Hope allocates land by simply closing his eyes and pointing to a map of the moon 'It's not very scientific, but it's kinda fun' he says. It's fun that has already made him $9 million.

But this is peanuts compared to what scientists believe is the real prize lying in the moon rocks. Data collected from the Apollo moon landings have indicated that large deposits of an extremely rare gas called Helium 3 are trapped in
the lunar soil. Scientists believe that this Helium 3 could be used to create a new source of almost inexhaustible, clean, pollution free energy on earth. It's a potential that many scientists are keen to exploit and plans are already afoot to strip mine the moon for Helium 3 and transport it the quarter of a million miles back
to earth. Whoever succeeds could solve the world's energy crisis - according to Jerry Kulcinski from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Helium 3 may be the Persian Gulf of the 21st Century.

But who will get to the moon first? And should they be exploiting the moon's valuable resources at all?

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