There is lot of controversy over whether lunar resources would be an
economical source of fuel for power plants on
Earth. The resource at issue is helium-3 . Without getting too technical
about it: the theory of fusion power says that
helium-3 will work in a nuclear power plant and would yield a much safer
and more reliable power source than
alternative methods of producing power with nuclear reactions.
Until experimental fusion power plants are successfully constructed, we
really won't know if helium-3 will work,
either technically or financially. If it does work, the economic impact on
lunar development would be tremendous,
overshadowing everything else. This leads to another question, whether we
would really want to shift all emphasis
on lunar development into a race to gain control of the power source of the
To answer these questions, it's important to understand the basic
concept. Here is an introduction to helium-3,
describing what it is, what it might do, and its potential for economic
impact on lunar development.
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