Friday, November 09, 2007

Space Exploration 3.0 about to begin

Space exploration is about to enter a third age where nations will cooperate to explore the solar system.

Nicolas Peter, a research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), told the meeting in Vienna that the era of launching space missions to bolster national prestige was long past and that new opportunities for cooperation had emerged since the end of the Cold War. He predicted that an imminent third phase of space exploration could inspire nations to work together in a spirit of discovery.

Well, of course I'd like to think that China and the U.S. could mine Helium-3 on the Moon without territorial disputes . . .


mr. intense said...

The He-3 issue is kind of ridiculous, imho, as the measurable parts per million of He-3 (PPM) on the moon is not _that_ much greater or even practicable to mine--this is the moon, people; you know, a vacuum at extraordinarily cold temperatures, etc.

There will be no Caterpillar or John Deere mining and tractor franchises on the moon any time soon (like in the lifetimes of most of us) to be mining He-3 for fuel. It's not the "wonder fuel".

See wikipedia under helium 3 for significant details--it's just not as powerful or efficient a fuel as some seem to mistakenly think, for use as a fuel for either interplanetary voyages or use on earth to provide any significant percentage of needed energy resources.

We still need safe, clean nuclear fusion power as the most reachable, ass-saving possible energy source to come on line, prior to He-3 exploitation efforts or tech ever becomes practical.

It's really not that significant a reason for going back to moon, imho.

dad2059 said...

You read my mind Mac.

As for H3 being impractical,

The one disadvantage is high ignition temps, but the h3 requires minimum processing.