29 Jan 2019 15:41

Russian scientists call attention to lunar deposits of rare metals

MOSCOW. Jan 29 (Interfax-AVN) - There are vast thorium and titanium deposits on the moon which could be used, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Space Research Institute, Lev Zelyony, said.

"The moon has a lot of rare metals, such as titanium, uranium, and thorium," Zelyony said at the 43rd Korolyov Academic Readings.

The presence of thorium indicates that the moon might have other rare-earth metals, as well, he said.

"Of course, the extraction technology and economic aspects should be studied, but by the time Earth nearly or completely runs out of rare-earth metals, which are vital for industries, I think we will have to pay attention to the moon and, perhaps, to certain metal meteorites," Zelyony said.

"The moon might also be interesting to scientists as a site of astronomical studies, which cannot be conducted on Earth," he said.

"The moon has no atmosphere, which makes its astro-climate ideal. The moon has particular interest from the point of view of radio-astronomy," Zelyony said.

The presence of strong radio and radar interference near Earth complicates such projects, he said.

"The moon, especially its dark side, is an ideal oasis with absolute electro-magnetic silence. It is good to conduct radio-astronomy studies there, especially in low frequencies," Zelyony said.