Chandrayaan-3 to propel India in lunar mining exploration race, says GlobalData
Following the news that Chandrayaan-3 is all set to land successfully on the south polar region of the Moon around 6.04pm IST on 23 August 2023; Shri Charan Padala, Principal Analyst in the Thematic Intelligence team at GlobalData, comments: "Moon's south pole is thought to be rich in water ice, which could be used to produce fuel for spacecraft, as well as other resources such as metals and minerals. Chandrayaan-3, if successful in landing at the south pole, gives India a head start in developing the infrastructure and technology needed to mine these resources.
“3D printing is increasingly being implemented in emerging space technologies, as it can localize the structural manufacturing on the Moon, thus eliminating the complexities that arise due to the transportation from the Earth. India is well-equipped in 3D printing capabilities, with a strong research and development ecosystem. In 2022, India released a national strategy to develop and deploy advanced 3D printing technologies. This strategic initiative may pave the way for India to lead the lunar mining frontier, serving as a cornerstone for the evolution of lunar 3D printing capabilities.
“However, formidable technological hurdles loom India’s lunar mining ambitions. One of the biggest challenges is the harsh environment of the Moon. The Moon is bombarded by radiation from the Sun, and its surface is covered in dust that can be abrasive and corrosive. Designing space tech that can withstand these harsh conditions is a highly complex process.
“Another pivotal challenge is the burgeoning expenditure of lunar mining. The cost of launching a satellite or a spacecraft to the Moon is still very high, and this will need to come down before lunar mining can be economically viable.
“Nonetheless, the prospects of lunar mining offer an array of benefits. Lunar resources could be used to support human exploration of the Moon and Mars, and they could also be used to produce fuel and other materials for use on Earth.
“Chandrayaan-3 demonstrates India's technological capabilities and its commitment to lunar exploration. If India can overcome the challenges of lunar mining, it could become a major player in this emerging industry.”
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