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Race to the Moon

Updated on July 2, 2011

Using Moon Rocks to Power the Earth?

Oil is a finite resource. Someday we will run out. Coal and Nuclear fission have big waste issues. Solar, wind, geothermal are all inefficient and incapable of replacing oil/fossil fuels. So what's the answer?

How about the moon! You ask,'How can the moon be the key to the future's energy needs?' It is a little something called Helium3. It is a gas that is trapped in moon rocks. It can be used in a fusion reaction that creates more energy than it uses to start the reaction, therefore there is gain. The byproducts are harmless.

What is Fusion vs. Fission? Basically, fission is where atoms are split, neutrons are released along with heat, like the bomb. In a nuclear reactor, heat exchangers are used to create electricity. A fusion reaction is where atoms are fused together and a new atom is created along with heat and more importantly without all the neutrons that create radiation hazards. This means it is a clean reaction. Here's a more scientific explanation of the fusion reaction and why it is so clean.

Where did I learn about this? Getting back to fusion and the moon, I was watching one of the cable science channels and it talked about mining Helium3 from the moon to solve the energy crisis. Sounds crazy but it turns our that there is an abundant supply of Helium3. (And my mother said TV was a waste of time!)

Race to the Moon. You may recall the US announced it is returning to the moon around 2020. Did you hear that India sent an unmanned mission to the moon a couple of months ago? Both Russia and China have plans to send missions to the moon in the next 20 years. Why all the interest in the moon? Helium3 is my guess. Whoever gets there first and figures out how to get this gaseous gold back to earth is going to have a huge advantage over everyone else.

Is this really possible? Well if I recall what they said on the show, they estimate that a shuttle full could power the US for a year. Think about that for a second. So what if it costs $100M to get that load of moon rocks. Imagine the leverage you'd have over other countries if you had virtually a limitless source of power. Since energy is what drives an economy, imagine the power a country would have over the world with that kind of resource.

Final Thoughts. Of course this is all speculation and assumptions, and nothing is probably going to happen for quite a few years. It will make me keep an eye on the space programs and the progress they are making to go to the moon. So next time you hear a news report about going to the moon or moon missions by other countries, you will know why!

 

Race to the Moon
Race to the Moon

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    • profile image

      Debbie 

      9 years ago

      Dear Tom, please don't forget to share some of that knowledge. It is obvious you have intellect on the subject and I would like to hear more about your experience in this area. I love science and physics and would like to learn more. After I see a program about The Universe on the Solar System or The Earth on evolution or armageddon, what a different perspective I get. It's something I like to share!!!!!

    • Tom T profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom T 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for commenting. I did some work on space, early in my career. I got the chance to meet some very interesting folks that kind of spurred my interest in space, science and physics. I'll check out the Universe.

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      9 years ago

      Tom T, it is Debbie again. I am so interested in this sort of thing. Not only do I watch the Science channels, I like the History channels too. I had several dreams when I was a child. One was to be a Vocalist in which I did accomplished, another was to be an Astronut. In 1976 when I graduated high school I asked my father, (my only parent since my mother left us, and since he was a war hero in the Army in WW11), if It would be alright with him if I joined the U.S. Airforce because I wanted to learn to fly a plane. He said: I am so happy about your ambitions but they won't let women fly planes!, " In those days he was right!" He said: You would end up with a desk job. I said: forget it!!!! I never stopped following the progress on the missions to outter space. Don't forget solar energy, if they could profect that just think how the world would save on the energy!!!! I love the study of our Milky Way Galaxy (planets)and others. I don't know if you have this station? Did you ever check out the History Channel: The Universe on the subject worm holes? How intersting is that?????

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