Should we cheer a China claim on the Moon? « The Greenroom: "Glenn Reynolds argues yes — but not because China deserves to sustain such a claim. Instead, Glenn thinks that a bold move to abrogate or bypass the 1967 Outer Space Treaty will spark a “gold rush,” and finally a competitive commercial market for exploration:
Though the landing was a big deal in China, most of the rest of the world responded with a yawn. Moon landing? Been there, done that.
But October Sky author Homer Hickam was more excited. He wondered on Twitter if China might want to make a territorial claim on the moon, noting that the area the lander is exploring may contain an abundance of Helium-3, a potentially valuable fusion energy fuel that is found only on the moon. According to former astronaut/geologist Harrison Schmitt, China “has made no secret” of its interest in Helium-3. Schmitt observes, “I would assume that this mission is both a geopolitical statement and a test of some hardware and software related to mining and processing of the lunar regolith.”"
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