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Nothing you could possibly find on the moon would be worth the cost of retrieving it from there. Even if there was bars of pure gold just lying on the moon it would be more expensive than just mining it on earth.



Well, gold isn't a very valuable thing, aside from it's use as a basis of currency and "look at this gold, isn't it pretty, I'm so rich!".

But there are other things that are more valuable. On thing is He-3, which would make an ideal fusion fuel. Another is pretty much any raw material, and the industrial base to use it. I'd much rather have industrial machinery churning out tons of pollution on the moon then on the earth.


Even assuming 10 ppb of He-3 in the lunar regolith, you'd need to process 150 tons of the stuff to get one gram of fuel.

http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/pdf/wcsar9311-2.pdf

Mind you, if we eventually automate extraction industries the economics for a lot of things change.

> I'd much rather have industrial machinery churning out tons of pollution on the moon then on the earth.

Would you pay twenty times as much for your computer in order to make that happen? And would most people do likewise? It's the answer to that sort of question that determines whether something gets done.




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