Moon Dirt Could Provide Unlimited Energy

Really. Scientists say there's a substance on the moon that could power the world for thousands of years. The equivalent of a single space shuttle load or roughly 25 tons could supply the entire United States' energy needs for a year.


The substance is Helium-3. Researchers see it as the perfect fuel source: extremely potent, nonpolluting, with virtually no radioactive by-product. Proponents claim it's the fuel of the 21st century. The trouble is, hardly any is found on Earth--only a few hundred pounds. But there's plenty on the moon; it comes from the sun. When the solar wind, the rapid stream of particles emitted by the sun, strikes the moon Helium-3 is deposited in the powdery soil. Over billions of years a couple million tons have built up.

The substance would solve major problems associated with current efforts to use fusion as a power source. Fusion reactors would provide unlimited supplies of energy but have been out of reach so far. One reason is that when deuterium or tritium, the fuels now available, are used most of the energy is put out as neutrons. These are extremely dangerous and destructive. If Helium-3 could be used, very few neutrons and much more energy could be produced. A practical reactor and the answer to our energy problems would be much closer. A very good reason to "reach for the moon."

PB

Comments

At first I thought, "well, what are we waiting for!" but now I think that's a little creepy... to be stealing things from another planet? Sometimes being a human makes me feel corrupt knowing we're doing things like this...

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