China claims to have discovered a previously unknown Moon mineral, which it calls a “Moon crystal” made of a material not seen on Earth. The stone was unearthed in a collection of lunar samples collected by China’s Chang’e-5 mission. In 2020, the operation made contact with the moon’s surface for the first time. It has since amassed approximately four pounds of Moon rocks and even sent some to Earth, according to China. According to Chinese authorities, the new crystal, China says, may be a way to harness unlimited energy.
China stumbles upon a key ingredient for nuclear fusion
For years, the full composition of our Moon’s surface has been unknown. Besides the Apollo missions in the 1970s, people have not set foot on the moon for decades; making it tough to study its construction. But with China’s recent discovery of a new Moon crystal, there may be more motivations than ever for nations to resent lunar exploration efforts.
Scientists have been searching for a way to create unlimited energy for years now, with nuclear fusion being one method they’ve considered. These Moon crystals could be integral in making progress towards this goal because they contain important components that can be harnessed more easily.
Helium-3, an element crucial for nuclear fusion reactors, is found in Moon crystals. However, it’s very scarce on Earth according to Vice. But because it appears to be more common on the moon, we may be able to tap into this resource and make nuclear fusion power a reality.
There’s also the issue of transporting the Moon crystals to Earth, especially in amounts required to power fusion reactors. But if scientists’ predictions are correct, we may see some breakthroughs in nuclear fusion technology in the future. This will allow us to shut down polluting fossil fuel power plants, which would help solve the problem of climate change.