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Rare Metals on the Moon Have Yet to Spark Modern Moon Race

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ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR CHINA
DailyFeed
China’s abundance of rare earth metals has been the talk of the town, as of late. And for good reason. They’ve got about 90% of the Earth’s supply of compounds like Neodymium, Dysprosium, Cerium and thus, can dole them out as they wish while the rest of the world squirms, begs, and barters.

But thanks to a little known science called “astronomy,” there could be an alternative locale for mining rare Earth metals…the moon.

The AFP reports that researchers at Brown University have analyzed particles of lunar dust and found a “surprisingly rich mixture that, in addition to the silver, included water and compounds like hydroxyl, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and free sodium.”

Brown geologist Peter Schultz said “This place looks like it's a treasure chest of elements, of compounds that have been released all over the Moon.”

Score!

And the best news? The US has serious plans to launch extensive missions to the moon! Er…actually, scratch that. Not the US. We mean China.

On October 11th, President Obama signed the NASA Authorization Act 2010, effectively ending the Constellation program, which aimed to return humans to the Moon.

Meanwhile, on October 1st, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) launched its Chang E 2 lunar probe, the second lunar orbiter launched in three years. In 2004, the Chinese government authorized a three-stage robotic lunar exploration that will:

Stage 1: Orbiters will circle the moon and collect data.

Stage 2: Robotic probes will land on the lunar surface to collect and analyze lunar samples and transmit the data back to Earth.

Stage 3: After landing on the moon, the robotic probe will return to Earth with a set of moon rocks and soil sample.

NASA’s behind-the-times approach isn’t lost on NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who recently traveled to China for talks about cooperative spaceflight.

As you can imagine, lawmakers are less than thrilled.

Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who is on the subcommittee that oversees NASA’s budget, wrote “It should go without saying that NASA has no business cooperating with the Chinese regime on human spaceflight. China is taking an increasingly aggressive posture globally, and their interests rarely intersect with ours."

Well, if finding and mining precious metals in an effort to ween ourselves off of a Chinese monopoly isn't enough to inspire us to get back to the moon, maybe those damn UFOs will?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.
TAGS:  CHINA, SILVER, SPACE, MOON, RARE EARTH METALS    SOURCE:   AFP

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