Helium-3 Fusion Reactor

Posted on January 16, 2007  Comments (1)

Future In Fusion? by John Lasker:

Nevertheless, UW fusion researchers believe their plan could get civilization off fossil fuels. That’s if crews could return to the moon to mine for helium-3, super-heat it out of the lunar soil to process the gas, and return it to the Earth.

But scientists and investors have taken notice. Nearly all of UW fusion research is privately funded. And meanwhile, with China, India, the European Space Agency and at least one Russian corporation all pursuing plans for a manned lunar base in the coming decades, there is increasing talk of a race to control this fuel, one shuttle load of which could theoretically power the United States for a year.

Aftergood doesn’t believe a race with China for lunar helium-3 has begun. Yet a race to the moon against China — whether real or superficial — may be in NASA’s best interest, he said. “There are some who wish this would be the case — this race with China. They believe it would recapture the dynamic of the United States’ and Russia’s race to the moon,” he said.

This sounds pretty incredible to me and I find the claims of using fuel from the Moon economically to power our needs on Earth. Still it is interesting and just because it sounds fantastic does not mean it can’t be true. But I am skeptical.

Related: China Prepares for Return of ShenzhouMIT’s Energy ‘Manhattan Project’Fusion Technology Institute (UW-Madison)Should Google Go Nuclear? Clean, cheap, nuclear power (no, really) – video

One Response to “Helium-3 Fusion Reactor”

  1. CuriousCat: Mining the Moon
    August 23rd, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

    “Even more surprising is that one reason for much of the interest appears to be plans to mine helium-3–purportedly an ideal fuel for fusion reactors but almost unavailable on Earth–from the moon’s surface…”

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