Interlune Plans to Mine Helium-3 on the Moon by 2030: A New Frontier in Space Exploration

Sophia Rodriguez

This sounds like a plot from For All Mankind on Apple TV+, but we swear it’s true…. Mining the moon for its natural resources is an ambitious goal that a startup called Interlune is working toward. The company aims to be the first private entity to extract resources from the moon and transport them back to Earth. Their initial focus is on helium-3, an isotope that is abundant on the moon and has valuable applications on Earth, such as in quantum computing and medical imaging.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Interlune recently secured $18 million in funding, including $15 million from Seven Seven Six, a venture firm led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. They plan to have a pilot plant on the moon by 2028 and begin operations by 2030, which would be a historical first.

The moon is rich in helium-3 which is thought to be trapped in the lunar soil from solar winds. Interlune plans to deploy a robotic lander to analyze the concentration of helium-3 at a selected location on the moon’s surface. They hope to extract the gas and ship it back to Earth using a proprietary lunar harvester, with the ultimate goal of commercializing the process.

The founding team of Interlune includes industry heavyweights like former Blue Origin president Rob Meyerson, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, and former Rocket Lab executive Indra Hornsby. With a strong team and substantial backing, extracting helium-3 from the moon is now more feasible than ever.

TF Summary: What’s Next

With their recent funding and technical advancements, Interlune’s aim is having a lunar pilot plant by 2028. A lunar plant would be an unprecedented milestone in the field of space exploration. The success of this endeavor could lead to groundbreaking applications of lunar resources on Earth.

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By Sophia Rodriguez “TF Eco-Tech”
Sophia Rodriguez is the eco-tech enthusiast of the group. With her academic background in Environmental Science, coupled with a career pivot into sustainable technology, Sophia has dedicated her life to advocating for and reviewing green tech solutions. She is passionate about how technology can be leveraged to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world and often speaks at conferences and panels on this topic.
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