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The fuel quest that could be driving China’s mission to the moon

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posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 03:09 PM
link   
www.scmp.com...


The primary material on the moon is helium-3, which for now is too expensive to haul back to Earth. In theory, the non-radioactive isotope could be used as fuel for the next generations of spacecraft to explore deeper into space.

Imagine driving from “NYC to LA without gas stations along the way”, said Peter Diamandis, the entrepreneur who founded the XPrize to encourage private spaceships. “If you can get the fuel from space, it reduces the cost.”


my first thought was, no way anyone could economically grab lunar stuff and ship it back.
but they theorize that this could be a stepping stone for further space travel; fly to the moon, use its resources (small base?) to refuel, and on to Mars.

I really don't think any of this will ever be feasible (cue the snarky science-hater posts) but it's their money.

I wonder how much gold or platinum or rare earth minerals it would take to justify sending back to earth.
don't think the umbilical will work.

edit on 6-1-2019 by ElGoobero because: clarify




posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 03:29 PM
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a reply to: ElGoobero

Helium-3 makes no sense because it would take more energy to bring it back to Earth than it brings.

Thorium is as plentiful and easy to mine as lead:



The Chinese, Indians, and Japanese will have working commercial Thorium reactors within decades. The US will be left behind because big oil doesn't want it.



posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: ElGoobero

check out the film 'moon' with sam rockwell.

from what i have read over the decades about helium3 it is said to be an important and probably highly volatile
material to handle. the chinese state media television covered this recently emphasising the fuel ratio as one tablespoon to at least one full car tank of petrol in terms of energy potential if memory serves.

I suspect the rover will mass spec all the varied lunar material until it hits the jackpot.

f.



posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

A shorter version of the video referenced:




posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 04:21 PM
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a reply to: ElGoobero

We would need to build a reactor on the moon and beam the energy back to earth.



posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 04:30 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 6 2019 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015




Helium-3 makes no sense because it would take more energy to bring it back to Earth than it brings.


The idea is not to bring it back but to refuel ships that have expended most of their fuel getting out of Earth's Gravitational field. It is to refuel ships.




Thorium is as plentiful and easy to mine as lead:


A thorium reactor is basically a heat source. It is not an engine, it does not provide thrust. It can be coupled with other things to say, produce electricity, but then how do you get thrust? Yes, small moves in that direction are being made but it is not really panning out.

P



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 12:56 PM
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That's interesting that you bring this up. Where I'm from we use H3 in microtokamaks to power various devices, just easier than charging batteries.

Could they be using this?
edit on 8-1-2019 by w121x080y120z850 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: w121x080y120z850

are you in eastern europe?

microtokamaks have a relationship with neutrinos?

could you elaborate/explain?


cheerz f.



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: fakedirt

Micotokamaks use heavy H3, good for detecting neutrinos. microtokamaks also emitte them if they're not shielded.



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 05:58 PM
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I got excited about H3 and moon mining once. Another member here put it all in perspective.

You have to get there.
You have to figure how to mine it.
You have to figure out how to store it.
Then you have to figure a way to get it back down to earth.

Each one of those is a huge undertaking in and of themselves, let alone all of them. Brought me back down to earth!

PS - Miss you Bedlam!!



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

You'll also need a working fusion reactor which can use it.

But what's up with this statement from the article in the OP?

The primary material on the moon is helium-3

edit on 1/8/2019 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2019 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: Phage


I missed that!

Uh, I thought it was mostly silicates (at least glass-like), and stuck to everything (static). Michael Collins made Buzz and Neil clean up before getting back into the command module!

I also think it is just bad writing, "the primary material [reason for going in the first place] on the moon [compared to all the other stuff there] is helium-3"

They can use it in small measure in a fusion reactor (MIT made a new fusion fuel equation with it) but the real proton ones don't exist, so yeah, there is that too!




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