Might As Well Be Walking On The Moon

It appears that China is interested in mining the moon.

Chinanews, Guiyang, Aug 10 -China plans to survey every inch of the soil on the moon during the Chang'e project, said Ouyang Ziyuan, China's chief scientist for the moon exploration project.
So why would China be spending money on moon exploration. Do they have something practical in mind? Yes they do.
"There are altogether 15 tons of helium-3 on earth, while on the moon, the total amount of Helium-3 can reach 1-5 million tons. Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments. If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year. This means that the helium-3 reserves on the moon can serve human society for at least 10,000 years," he said.
It turns out that if this alternate fusion scheme works, out we will not have to go to the moon for fuel. We can leave the He3 on the moon for use in space travel. On earth we can use Boron 11 and hydrogen. Hydrogen is abundant. There is enough Boron 11 for around 100,000 years. More than enough time to figure out what is next. Plus we need not get into resource wars over goodies in space. At least not for a while.

Cross Posted at Power and Control and at The Astute Bloggers

posted by Simon on 08.11.07 at 03:15 AM










Comments

Of course once you get to space and the ability to process He3 you then have the ability to put up thousands of sq.km. of amorphous silicon solar cells... even at 10% conversion, the sunlight is much more intense in orbit and you get it for all but an hour a day or so.

The problem with mining the moon for He3 is that it is much cheaper and faster to mine it for things that can be directly useful... all that silica, iron, aluminum, oxygen and all the heat you need with just a few mirrors to smelt it down.... He3 is an exportable 'by-product'... SPS capability is direct, easy and cheap.

Once you get to the moon in an industrial fashion, it becomes a self-sustaining cycle for industry. Zero pollution, to boot.

ajacksonian   ·  August 11, 2007 1:08 PM

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