Scientists Envision Helium-3 Moon Mining Base
SAN FRANCISCO -- In this city famous for the Gold Rush, a University of Hawaii researcher joined a former Apollo astronaut yesterday in touting the mining of a resource on the moon that holds the promise of cheap, clean abundant energy on Earth.
The resource is helium-3, a rare isotope on Earth that is plentiful on the lunar surface due to billions of years of exposure to the solar wind.
Ex-astronaut Harrison Schmitt, a former U.S. senator from New Mexico now with the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told research conventioneers that helium-3 would make an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, the same process that powers the sun.
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