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16.8.09

After circling the Moon for nearly 18 months, China's Chang'e 1 spacecraft has successfully achieved four scientific targets that include detection of helium-3, a crucial element for nuclear fusion, which may provide humans with millions of tons of nuclear energy in the future.

The identification of helium-3 came about by the exploration of the soil layer on the Moon, a pioneering work that has not been done by any other country.

The Chang'e 1, using microwave technology, measured the depth of the soil layer across the moon.

One of the focuses of the soil examination was to detect how much helium-3, a crucial element for nuclear fusion, is on the moon.

Since the fossil energy on Earth might be exhausted in a century or less, mankind has to find an alternative
energy source. Nuclear fusion would be an important option.

There is an abundance of helium-3, perhaps millions of tons, on the moon, which could be used to generate energy once the technology matures.

Scientists feel this is the reason why the moon might fundamentally change the pattern of energy generation for humans.

Other missions included the formulation of a two-dimensional as well as a three-dimensional map of the entire moon.

The Chang'e 1 scanned the moon's surface with three laser beams, measuring the height or altitude of more than 9 million points on the moon.

Based on the data collected, a stereoscopic map of the Moon will be accomplished before the end of this year.

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