Is Helium 3 Exploitation China's Hidden Lunar Agenda?

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July 02, 2008

Is Helium 3 Exploitation China's Hidden Lunar Agenda?

Chang_12jun07_2 Earlier this year, shortly after Russia claimed a vast portion of the Arctic sea floor, accelerating an international race for the natural resources as global warming opens polar access, China has announced plans to map "every inch" of the surface of the Moon and exploit the vast quantities of Helium-3 thought to lie buried in lunar rocks as part of its ambitious space-exploration program.

Ouyang Ziyuan, head of the first phase of lunar exploration, was quoted on government-sanctioned news site ChinaNews.com describing plans to collect three dimensional images of the Moon for future mining of Helium 3: "There are altogether 15 tons of helium-3 on Earth, while on the Moon, the total amount of Helium-3 can reach one to five million tons."

"Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments," Ziyuan added. "If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year."

Helium 3 fusion energy - classic Buck Rogers propulsion system- may be the key to future space exploration and settlement, requiring less radioactive shielding, lightening the load. Scientists estimate there are about one million tons of helium 3 on the moon, enough to 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.

Thermonuclear reactors capable of processing Helium-3 would have to be built, along with major transport system to get various equipment to the Moon to process huge amounts of lunar soil and get the minerals back to Earth.

With China's announcement, a new Moon-focused Space Race seems locked in place. China made its first steps in space just a few years ago, and is in the process of establishing a lunar base by 2024. NASA is currently working on a new space vehicle, Orion, which is destined to fly the U.S. astronauts to the moon in 13 years, to deploy a permanent base.

Russia, the first to put a probe on the moon, plans to deploy a lunar base in 2015. A new, reusable spacecraft, called Kliper, has been earmarked for lunar flights, with the International Space Station being an essential galactic pit stop.

The harvesting of Helium-3 on the could start by 2025. Our lunar mining could be but a jumping off point for Helium 3 extraction from the atmospheres of our Solar System gas giants, Saturn and Jupiter.

UN Treaties in place state that the moon and its minerals are the common heritage of mankind,  so the quest to use Helium-3 as an energy source would likely demand joint international co-operation. Hopefully, exploitation of the moon's resources will be viewed as a solution for thw world, rather than an out-moded nation-state solution.

In October 2003, China became the third space-faring nation (after the U.S. and Russia) after it launched its first “Taikonaut” into orbit.

Europe and India are accelerating their efforts to conduct robotic science on space-born platforms. There’s also a growing interest in space exploration from a dozen other countries around the world, including Kenya, whose equatorial location on the east coast of Africa makes it geographically ideal for space launches.

While this emerging international community claims it's slice of the aerospace universe, the U.S., by contrast, is no longer a leader but simply a player, according to nationally renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who points out that "we’ve moved backward just by standing still."

Posted by Casey Kazan.

Related Galaxy post:

3 Titans of Asia Face Off: Who Gets the Biggest Chunk of Moon?
"Hunt for the Red October" A Sequel? -Russia Challenges West Under Arctic Ice

Story Link:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMPM53Z28F_index_0.html

Comments

The Truth will be reveled if they do so (That they did not reached the moon yet) because, they had already clam that (U.S.) they had landed in moon.

U.S. says they had landed in moon but they remain silent since 1972. its going to be around 35 years.

what is the technology available on those days compared with today? (a supercomputer which can't even hardly perform the calculations of scientific calculators of today)

Think friends!

Conspiracy theorists should stay in their basements with their tinfoil hats. Shut up truth seeker.

I dont get it, what do they want with helium. There is an avundance of helium here already is there not?

JT
http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

Helium 3 is different from helium.

JT, you really need to go back and read the article.

FTA: "There are altogether 15 tons of helium-3 on Earth, while on the Moon, the total amount of Helium-3 can reach one to five million tons"

"Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments," Ziyuan added. "If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year"

Note the "weasel words" in the article:
"Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments," Ziyuan added. "If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year."

"Considered...a material for ... nuclear energy," "If we human beings..."

No one really knows if that will work. I think there should be some effort in isolating some of terrestrial H3 and experimenting to see if it really works as expected. Maybe it will be as useless as "cold fusion."

"Conspiracy theorists should stay in their basements with their tinfoil hats. Shut up truth seeker."

Last I checked this was still the United States of America and not some commie sh*thole where only people who agree with the government are allowed to voice their opinions. I suggest the pinhead who wrote the above quote pack his bags and move to North Korea, where people of his mindset truly belong.

I’m not sure how much to trust an article that still contains misspellings and missing words. Examples:

"Hopefully, exploitation of the moon's resources will be viewed as a solution for thw world, rather than an out-moded nation-state solution."


"The harvesting of Helium-3 on the could start by 2025."

Sorry, this post is full of errors, and demonstrates a remarkable lack of research and insight by the author (which, sadly, is shared by much of the so-called space advocacy movement.)

It just blows my mind that some people discount or in some cases leave out the US space program from any future lunar endeavors. China has in no way proved the capabilities of landing on the moon. Every aspect of their technology is derived from the Russians and the former has never shown any ability whatsoever for a lunar landing. The only way China will ever land on the moon is to copy every aspect of the Apollo and Orion programs. They are incapable of any innovation of there own now and in the foreseeable future. In addition the statement "Russia, the first to put a probe on the moon, plans to deploy a lunar base in 2015." is an absolute joke. The point is that this article has China, Russia, India, Europe and others dominating lunar exploration while non of them have shown any ability to do so and most likely never will. Just an observation of reality.

Some spell checking won't hurt, you know?

Yes, as I was reading I was impressed with the quality of the writing--until I noticed the misuse of apostrophe in "it's" towards the end of the article.

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