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View Diary: Golden Spike to shoot for the moon by 2020 (175 comments)

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  •  If they can bring back a load of H3... (0+ / 0-)

    ...they could probably pay for the whole trip.

    •  He-3 would probably be more valuable... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zipn, Miss Jones, bluicebank, marleycat

      But won't someone think of the Sam Rockwells?

      Suspicion Breeds Confidence

      by tlf on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:16:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lunar He-3 is a gigantic, steaming, load (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pete Cortez

      ...of horseshit. It's become a mantra like people who put "quantum" in front of something to make it sound scientific.

      The primary reason is that the theoretical process in which it would be used in nuclear fusion has not been demonstrated to be technologically do-able, or even better than any of the other proposed fusion reactions that could generate power. The proposed D-3He fusion process is a second generation fusion reactor concept , and we're still decades (aren't we always?) from first generation fusion power generation. In addition to that, although a D-3He reaction provides more power than "ordinary" D-T fusion (which is used in the current testbeds), it doesn't provide that much more power, but the facilities required would either have to be significant;y larger, or be more numerous, to provide an equal level of power generation, let alone more.

      Second, the idea that the regolith is just loaded with Helium-3 ready to be harvested is--surprise!--also a theoretical idea that hasn't been demonstrated.

      To put it bluntly, at the moment anyone proposing to go to the moon to mine Helium-3 is almost at the same level of believability as someone saying we need to mine asteroids for the iridium in them because we need it to build our faster-than-light warp drives.

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