Helium 3 and 'Strip-Mining the Moon', your thoughts?

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posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:22 PM
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I watched a show on the Science channel last night about how most of the larger world powers, the U.S, Russia, China, ect are talking about strip mining the moon for a substance know as Helium 3. Apparently the substance can be found in very small quantities from basically dismantling nuclear weapons, but it is such small quantities.

From what I gathered, this Helium 3 is found so abundatly on the moon because it comes from the sun, and since the moon has no atmosphere the soil is very rich in it. While it is blocked out by the earths atmoshere.

Russia and the U.S. have plans of starting mining operations on the moon in 20 years.

Did anyone see this show? It was called "Moon for Sale."

They even have a guy (ex-Nasa if I remember right) that sells land on the Moon, (like he owns it), apparently some people think these deeds will hold up in the future, because he's maid nearly 15 million dollars basically selling sheets of paper. Who is he to say he owns the Moon?

Some notable people who actually bought Moon property off this guy incluse Clint Eastwood, and Tom Cruise(wow big suprise there). Some others as well but I can't recall right now.

Anyhow this Helium 3 sounded like it was the answer to all of our energy prays, as it's contained in all of the lunar samples brought back.

But one has to think of the ramifications(sp?) of this. As one gentlemen said at the end of the show, that we need to learn to live indefinitely off of what the earth can provided us, before we go tearing through the solar system strip mining every body that doesn't have an atmosphere.

I kind of agreed with him, but I can also see the value in this clean energy, which look at how much soil there is on the moon could power us for the next century.

Again I'm wondering if anyone saw this show, and what thier thoughts on it are, and also if this may be what the big cover-up some see in photos of the lunar surface. I've heard of people talking about seeing mining equipment. Are they at it already possibly?

Also do you think it will be a mad rush for the richest deposits of this stuff and could lead to war either here on Earth or even on the Moon?

Maybe this is old news but this was the first I've heard of this Helium 3, and also the first I've heard of people(well person) selling property on the Moon. Kinda hard to believe he can do this, I wish I had written his name or website info down.

But any thoughts and/or input on this subject would be much appreciated, as it was pretty fascinating and news to me.

I'm curious as to whether or not people would think this is a good, or bad idea, and why. As for me, I've not had enough time to digest it to really form an opinion. I'd love to hear some positives and negatives from other members.




posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:01 AM
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I watched the same program. The way they explained it I don't think it would be all that bad. They would take the soil and extract the Helium 3 from it. Turn it into gas form and ship it back to earth. This means to me we wouldn't be taking major weight off the moon. It also explained why the moon most likely has it and Earth does not. The sun gives off Helium 3 but it doesn't get to the surface of Earth, but it gets on the moon. So it seems like the source would be never ending possibly?


Anyways I think if it is done correctly, which I am sure it would, it should be done. This could change the Earth as we know it!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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Frankly speaking,

if we aren't damaging any ecosystem there directly, then we should go for asap..
It would save tons of ecosystems right here back on earth..



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
Frankly speaking,

if we aren't damaging any ecosystem there directly, then we should go for asap..
It would save tons of ecosystems right here back on earth..


Can you refer to an 'ecosystem' on the moon? I think you could go with environment but an ecosystem needs life in variety - and it looks pretty dead up there.

On the Helium 3 issue which ever country or company corners that market is minted - no need for fossil or nuke power for massive amounts of energy, it really would not matter how much energy was wasted - and once the infrastructure is in place (automated mining and shuttling back and forth) it's gonna be well cheap - but depending who's running the deal the savings probably won't ever trickle down to Joe Bloggs.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:27 AM
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I think Mr. John Lear has posted info about helium 3 being mined on the moon, I will double check on this.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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I don't really understand this since no one has demonstrated or even proposed a workable design for a helium 3 fusion reactor. Maybe they have but aren't telling.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:04 PM
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The way I look at it, if there comes a day when somebody can actually make money mining the Moon for Helium-3, that's the day it will happen. It's a matter of simple market economics.

I don't know what the current market for Helium-3 is, but apparently it still costs a whole lot more to build space ships that can go all the way to the Moon and back, and build and maintain all the necessary associated mining and processing facilities, than it's worth.

Helium-3 is supposed to be useful for fusion research (but not entirely necessary) which may ultimately lead to electrical power generation. Great. Except that it's still way easier and a hell of a lot cheaper to get electricity from a variety of clean, reliable sources (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc.) without developing multi-trillion dollar systems to mine the Moon, and probably will always be.

Fusion electricity generation reminds me of that scene in "Back to the Future III," where Doc Brown builds this huge, complicated and dangerous contraption to make ice cubes. Except that for a more exact analogy, the machine would be located in the Arctic, where there's ice all around.

So I guess I'd say I'm all for mining the Moon, because who cares, although it ain't likely to ever happen.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3
It would save tons of ecosystems right here back on earth.


Of course you realize that building a huge rocket fleet system will have a very large and negative impact on the Earth environment, not to mention all the Helium-3 processing and storage facilities and massive fusion generators it would be used in? These things just don't grow out of the dirt, you know. You need to mine the Earth, use up all kinds of energy to build them, get people to drive their polluting cars to the factories to maintain them, and all kinds of things like that.

What it boils down to is doing something really expensive and complicated rather than something simple.

And in the end it won't save anything, because more energy, even from something "clean" like fusion (there's another myth), just means more people -- particularly those in Third World countries with high birth rates -- will be able to live longer and have babies and drive cars and eat beef and pave over farmland and all the things that mess up the Earth.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 07:21 PM
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Very interesting

I have a couple of questions that I hope some one might have the answers to .

Helium 3 , as I have read in this thread , will be a great source of energy , but how ?

How will this raw material go from rock to usable form / substance that can be used to produce energy ?

How will Helium 3 , in its \"usable form\" be converted to energy ? I am sure it wont simple be burnt ?

What will the by product of this spent fuel be ?



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by Now_Then
Can you refer to an 'ecosystem' on the moon? I think you could go with environment but an ecosystem needs life in variety - and it looks pretty dead up there.


My point exactly!



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by Nohup
Of course you realize that building a huge rocket fleet system will have a very large and negative impact on the Earth environment, not to mention all the Helium-3 processing and storage facilities and massive fusion generators it would be used in? These things just don't grow out of the dirt, you know. You need to mine the Earth, use up all kinds of energy to build them, get people to drive their polluting cars to the factories to maintain them, and all kinds of things like that.


Of course.
And even if I were to say that the general long term idea would be to move all processing and storage facilities off-world, you would respond by saying that the energy investment required to even set up an offworld infrastructure
would be damaging enough.

So then what is the alternative? Renewable energy sources? Emission Reduction programs?
The ground realities of population growth and inability to sustain the energy needs of this growth are not quite utopian.
But I'm willing to hear you out on your alternatives.



What it boils down to is doing something really expensive and complicated rather than something simple.


Nothing is simple IMHO.




And in the end it won't save anything, because more energy, even from something "clean" like fusion (there's another myth), just means more people -- particularly those in Third World countries with high birth rates -- will be able to live longer and have babies and drive cars and eat beef and pave over farmland and all the things that mess up the Earth.


So its the third world countries that are to burden the majority of the blame now? This is getting interesting. I'm eager to read your elaboration on this.



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