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NASA wants to mine the moon - with a little help from Taipei

The Resource Prospector project aims to be the first mining expedition on another world.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

TAIWAN IS BUILDING a $47 million (€42.5 million) lunar lander as part of the first ever moon-mining project.

The lander, which the island’s Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology will have to make by October 2018, will carry a rover and touch down on the moon’s surface after a three-day journey from Earth.

US space agency NASA is leading the project, which is called Resource Prospector and aims to be the first mining expedition on another world.

The rover is designed to excavate hydrogen, oxygen and water from the moon, NASA says on its website.

“To be honest, the schedule is pressing,” Han Kuo-chang, the head of CSIST’s international cooperation programme, said.

He added that the US would supply the rover and the lander’s descent propulsion system.

Should the Resource Prospector prove to be successful, the moon could be used as a base for space journeys into Mars.

It is the first time Taiwan has built a lunar lander.

NASA is due to launch the moon-mining mission early in the 2020s.

© AFP, 2016

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