Race to the Moon
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!
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