moon mining


Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 x 40.2 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made aluminium frame

Our Moon possesses an abundance of helium-3, a precious isotope which could be the energy source of the future for fusion reactors. One tonne of it could supply all the electricity needs of a city the size of London for a whole year. Helium-3 forms part of the solar wind which cannot reach the Earth’s surface as it’s blocked by the Earth’s magnetic field. The Moon has no magnetic field which means that it’s fully exposed to the solar wind, and plentiful supplies of helium-3 have accumulated over many billions of years in the sand of the Moon. Both NASA and the China National Space Administration CNSA are now gearing up for the coming competition for the Moon’s rich resources.

The artwork “moon mining” visualizes the future importance the Moon will have as a source of energy for the Earth. The major part of the composition is taken up by Moon sand, known as regolith, in which the helium-3 gas is embedded. A mine on the left of the picture refers to the future mining of resources. The small moon base is designed by architect Norman Foster who developed a concept for the European Space Agency ESA in which housing on the Moon would be constructed from regolith using 3D printers. The work is composed of photographs of Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert and original shots of the Moon’s surface taken by the Apollo astronauts.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner,
with support by Marco Land

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