posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 01:18 PM
The whole problem with He3 is that we are many decades if not centuries until we are able to utilize it in a controlled reactor. The amount of heat
and pressure requires extensive shielding or else the heat of the startup reaction with burn through the shielding and instantly cooling down the
plasma thus stopping the fusion reaction. Basically He3 may be rare on earth and due to rarity it is valuable as a research tool, but as an industry
application it is useless... H2 is much easier to work with when doing Fusion research, the temps are not nearly as high and we have existing
materials that can deal with it. Some Theoretical work as been done studying the viability of CNT Shielding for He3 reactors(When I say shielding I'm
not talking about the radiation shields but the materials that resist heat etc) but we are not anywhere near practicle application yet. Trying to find
the link now...
As for the Moon missions being a waste, You're partly right. We went too early, we should have bided our time but it was a political thing back then.
Not about the Science or Exploration at all. :dn
At least on the Political front, I'm sure the Astronaughts back then LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I
But we DID get quite alot of technology out of those programs and continue this day see the innovations flow out of NASA. I know it's not the
direction everyone was hoping for after the Moon, but I sort of agree with Bushes stepping stones plan, building a permanent infrastructure so that
when we go, we go for good. I disagree with the price tags and the cutting of programs prematurely, he should just up NASA budget by 30 Billion a year
if he is serous but his newest appointee tells a different story. NASA is going to get leaner and meaner as it gets more involved in Sub-Orbital and
LEO private corps. They are also setting up more prize competitions which is a really good thing IMO.
We are in a much better place now what with the private space industry getting off the ground. THAT is going to be the push that will eventually send
us to mars. It will not be all politics this time, but Capitolism and Exploration plain and simple, profit and fun what more can we ask for? Of course
we are a long way from either as the first sub-orbital tourists have yet to go up.