Helium 3

I watched a program yesterday and I learned some things about Helium 3, and the possible importance of this gas.

Helium 3 is a very rare non-radioactive gas that has immeasurable possibilities as an energy source on Earth, if it could be found in reasonable quantities.

It is thought that about 100 tonnes of Helium 3 would be equal to the total power consumed on Earth during one year.

One of the main methods of supply of Helium 3 on earth is from the decay of tritium production, mainly from decommissioned nuclear warheads. About 150 kilograms of this has been produced in the last 50 years, enough to power the earth for about 12 hours.

That isn’t exactly a lot, but …   The Moon may hold the answer.

Apparently it is estimated that this Helium 3 is in abundant supply on the moon, with estimates of about one million tonnes being easily accessed from just the first few metres of the moons surface.

One million tonnes used at the rate of 100 tonnes per year = 1,000 years power supply for the entire earth.

The benefits of having something like this, being non-radioactive and producing no known harmful by-products, totally outweighs the much more dangerous Nuclear power options.

The value of this gas is considered to be about $4 million dollars per kilo.

Compare that to the price of Gold at about $45,000 per kilo.

How do we know that the Moon has this Helium 3 in such quantities ?

Space missions to the moon brought back many samples of moon rock, and after examination, these were found to contain this Helium 3 gas, and estimates were able to be made about the quantity that would be “easily available” from the moon surface.

Harrison H. Schmitt was the first and only geologist to go to the moon, and did so on the Apollo 17 mission, the last moon landing, and one of his goals is the advancement of lunar resources, including Helium-3 as a fuel for nuclear fusion reactors.

Helium Three (International Series of Monographs on Physics)

Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind (Sterling Biographies)

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