Sunday, January 29, 2006

World War III May Be Fought on the Moon

Helium 3 is an isotope (a unique atomic arrangement) of the element Helium which is invaluable in fusion reactors, which the Chinese plan to build to serve their energy needs in the future. When you hear the word "fusion," it's a clue that a country or company plans to mine Helium 3 on the moon.


W.M. Bear said...

All I can say is, better there than here!

Re Helium, it sounds as though this WILL be an economic motivating factor in about 20 years or so, especially if the Russians do what they say they're going to and start mining the stuff ASAP. (The real benefit of Helium 3 as a fusion fuel, as I understand it, is that the reactions involved are a lot easier to produce/control and the radioactive by-products are much, much less than with other fuels. I say, whatever works to get us Out There. It also sounds as though there's plenty of Helium 3 to go around for everyone. I honestly can't see nations battling each other THERE for it, although, of course, you never know. Given the sorts of assholes in charge here now, I could see the U.S. actually trying to establish a claim that "we" OWN the Moon outright and you're really really nice and do what we say, we might just might be willing to lease you a piece.

JEFM said...


Well said Bear.


Bill said...

Battles on the moon over rare energy materials? Old news. Ray Cummings wrote about this in 1931 in Brigands of the Moon. That time, it was Earth vs. Mars. Details at Russian moon mining.