We've written before that both the US and China have plans to go to the moon--not for exploration, as the US claims, but to mine the incredibly valuable fuel Helium 3 that's found there. The US won't admit that our true reason for returning to the moon, and China is equivocal about theirs, but Russia is plain spoken about it--they say they're planning a moon trip in order to get the Helium 3. Will there be a future war in space over moon fuel?
In 1969, the Apollo 11 crew planted an American flag on the moon. That symbolic gesture could be interpreted to mean that we own the moon and its valuable fuel. We could see a strange scenario in the future: if the US takes control of the moon, we could become the new Saudi Arabia, selling essential fuel at high prices to the rest of the world.
Andrew Osborn writes in the Independent that Russia plans to start mining the Moon for Helium 3, which can simply be shoveled up from the surface. There is enough Helium 3 on the moon to meet the Earth's power needs for over a thousand years.
The problem with moon mining is how to get the fuel back to Earth. Russia plans to build a permanent base on the moon within the next ten years. They've already succeeded in building a space station, although the Mir is now defunct.
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.
When the solar wind coming from the sun hits the moon, helium 3 is deposited in the powdery soil. It has built up over billions of years. Apollo astronauts found helium 3 on the moon in 1969, but didn't realize it could be used for fuel until they returned to Earth and talked to fusion engineers. Helium 3 fusion produces far less radioactivity than current nuclear power plants. You could safely build a helium 3 plant in the middle of a big city. But it order to get it, someone will have to strip-mine large surfaces of the moon. Since one side of the moon is always facing away from the Earth, this is the side they would probably mine, so that the "man in the moon" image we see from Earth would remain unchanged.
The real reason to switch to Helium 3 is to stop global warming. Whitley Strieber and Art Bell were the first writers who dared to bring this subject to the public. Those of you who read this website also know the secret about where Whitley got the surprising information contained in this book.
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