The search for helium supply sources is on, but in India this quest takes on a very different perspective as the country throws its support behind space exploration and the possibilities of helium existence on the moon.

Following the success of Chandrayaan-I, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to undertake more space projects, including a manned moon mission, at lesser costs, a top official of the space organisation said.

Cited as one of the main reasons behind the moon mission, is the anticipated large presence of helium.

“One of the major reasons behind the moon mission is the presence of helium there and it may take another 12 to 15 years before the mineral can be brought to earth,” said Chandrayaan-I Project Director M Annadurai.

Annadurai said countries like US and Russia have also started exploring the possibilities of the existence of large quantities of helium on moon’s surface.

When recently questioned over the necessity of a developing nation such as India spending Rs386 crore for the Chandrayaan-I mission, Annadurai noted that the cost of India’s maiden moon mission is negligible compared to the public’s spending on mobile phone usage.

“The first baby (Chandrayaan-1) is in very good condition and nothing to worry (about), and the future missions include space trip to the moon at lesser cost for humans to go and come back,” he said at an interaction with students of the Bharathiar University.