The race to mine the moon: How India, Russia, Europe, the US and China are battling it out to mine precious water, helium and metals beneath the lunar surface - estimated to be worth QUADRILLIONS

More than half a century has passed since John F. Kennedy delivered his iconic 'We choose to go to the moon' speech at Rice University.

What followed was a titanic space race which captivated the world and saw the US and Soviet Union battle it out to become the first country to put man on another world.

Fast forward six decades and history is starting to repeat itself — except this time there are more nations involved and the motive has changed.

Rather than being about national pride and establishing technological superiority, the likes of China, Russia, India and the US are now interested in the moon's valuable resources and how they can be mined.

From rare Earth metals used in smartphones to helium that could perhaps provide an invaluable source of energy, the lunar surface is a multi-quadrillion-pound hotbed of unearthed riches.

And that includes H20.

Deposits of frozen water – which could be used not only for drinking but also broken down into hydrogen for fuel or oxygen to breathe – are scattered across the moon's south pole.

That is why NASA has proposed a series of landing sites around it for its new Artemis programme, which aims to return human boots to the moon by 2025.