I was surprised to learn Helium 3 from the Moon surface science has been around for awhile. Robert Cornog discovered helium 3 in 1939, only a few
hundred pounds ( appx 150 kilograms) were known to exist on Earth, most the by-product of nuclear-weapon production.
Seems only as of late has it been made into headline news. Claims are made there may be more than a million tons of H3 on the moon.
Enough energy to power earth's global needs endlessly. According to FTI researcher and Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison Schmitt. Twenty five tons per
year is enough to power the whole of the USA for 12 months. It's estimated there are over a million tons within the soil of the Moon.
'When the solar wind, the rapid stream of charged particles emitted by the sun, strikes the moon, helium 3 is deposited in the powdery soil. Over
billions of years that adds up. Meteorite bombardment disperses the particles throughout the top several meters of the lunar surface...'
"You could safely build a helium 3 plant in the middle of a bigcity," according to Gerald Kulcinski, Director of the Fusion Technology Institute
(FTI) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Helium 3 fusion is also ideal for powering spacecraft and interstellar travel. While offering the high performance power of fusion -- "a classic Buck
Rogers propulsion system" -- helium 3 rockets would require less radioactive shielding, lightening the load, according to Robert Frisbee, an advanced
propulsion engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California
"Although helium 3 would be very exciting,"says Bryan Palaszewski, leader of advanced fuels at NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, "first we
have to go back to the moon and be capable of doing significant operations there."
Yes there is a reason to return to the Moon, but is still not without danger and time to further design, test and analyze equipment to survive on the
lunor surface as well as to mine, store and transport H3 back to earth safely. Even if scientists solved the physics of helium 3 fusion, "it would be
economically unfeasible,"said Jim Benson, chairman of SpaceDev in Poway, California, which strives to be one of the first commercial
space-exploration companies. "Unless I'm mistaken, you'd have to strip-mine large surfaces of the moon."
Benson agreed that finding fuel sources in space is the way to go. But for him, H2O and not helium 3 is the ideal fuel source. His personal goal is to
create gas stations in space by mining asteroids for water. The water can be electrolyzed into hydrogen or oxygen fuel or used straight as a
propellant by superheating with solar arrays."Water is more practical and believable in the short run," he said.
I think we have a ways to go before opening the door to H3 Solar System Imports.
Associated H3 Info: