Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thorium Volcanic Field on the Moon and What it Means

A rare deposit of thorium is located on the far side of the Moon.  This is important for two reasons: one purely scientific and the other for humanity.  

Scientifically the deposit is important because it is newer than other volcanic fields on the Moon.  Previously it was believed all volcanic activity on the Moon occurred during its warm phase during its creation.  However, this field is possible proof that the Moon had an active crust-mantle rock recycling cycle which most scientists believed the Moon never had.

Meanwhile thorium makes a very usable, stable fuel for nuclear reactors.  Thorium already on the Moon could provide fuel for nuclear powered Moon stations or even refuel nuclear powered spaceships.  Also, if the demand for thorium, which currently is in good supply on Earth, increases then these deposits and other on the Moon could provide the need for further space exploration and mining.  Much like the European exploration and colonization of the New Earth, the want of resources will prove the reason for humanity's advancement into space.

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