According to Digital Trends, there are "quadrillions of dollars of interplanetary paydirt" waiting on the moon for potential space prospectors, with already a handful of companies "racing each other towards the launchpad."
The treasures these space-age prospectors seek are myriad. The lunar surface is brimming with not only precious metals and rare isotopes, but also a litany of other natural resources.
Some of these are ridiculously valuable. Helium-3, for example, currently has a projected value of $40,000 per ounce. To put that in perspective, gold is currently being traded at about $1,200 an ounce. This incredibly high valuation comes from the isotope’s relative scarcity here on earth, as well as its potential as a fuel source. Helium-3 could be used as an efficient, alternative fuel source in fusion reactors, and about 220 pounds of it could theoretically power Dallas for an entire year.
Above, a photo from NASA showing Apollo 16's commander John W. Young retrieving tools from the Lunar Roving Vehicle’s Hand Tool Carrier.
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