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Battlefield Moon: Helium-3, the resource that could spark a future war Earth's celestial cousin
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02/16/2011 05:31 PM
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This is a chapter from John Lasker's "TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations from the Darkside of Technology, the US Military and UFOs" ($6.95) [link to store.theebooksale.com]
Battlefield Moon: Helium-3, the resource that could spark a future war for Earth's celestial cousin
Back in 1998, representatives from Halliburton and Shell met with officials from NASA to talk, practically in secret. At Los Alamos, NM, no less, home to some of the most radical and exotic US military research ever. They met over the prospects of drilling on Mars and the Moon. From that meeting, Halliburton – the oilfields technology and services corporation once ran by Dick Chaney – came away with the idea of building a drill specifically for our two closest celestial bodies.
Why build a drill for the Red Planet and the Harvest Moon? And why “No-bid” Halliburton? Which still has a strong connection to one of its greatest beneficiary's, Dick Chaney, of course. Yes, that US Vice President, the one who tricked the world into thinking the US needed to invade Iraq for Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Bruce Gagnon, the space weapons expert who runs The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, asks a rhetorical question: “Why do you think Halliburton is building a drill for Mars and the Moon?”
To monopolize the untold resources Mars and the Moon might offer? The question nearly answers itself, says Gagnon.
“There’s going to be a scramble for the moon by the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans. This is real. There’s going to be a conflict over it,” he says. “Who controls the moon is going to be rich by unimaginable amounts.”
Perhaps those cards are in the future for mankind. But certainly mankind has history on its side as a warning. History in the form of an Iraqi insurgency. The Iraq insurgency erupted, in part, over Dick Chaney and his neo-con’s plans to privatize all of Iraq’s industries, including oil, which would be taken over by American oil giants such as Shell and Exxon. And while some may think that thousands of US troops and Iraqi civilians died in vain due to the Iraqi insurgency, perhaps their souls won't allow Chaney’s legacy and his offspring to trick us again. Hopefully on this planet and beyond.
This doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be a future when man goes to war on the very surface and within the orbits of Mars and the Moon so to control the resources that can be mined and flown back to Earth. In fact, man has already predicted such a conflict will take place. In 1995, in a New York Times op-ed written by science writer Lawrence Joseph, he asks the question, “Will the Moon become the Persian Gulf of the 21st Century? And if the US does not take action in regards to the Moon, the nation could slip behind in the race for control of the global economy, and our destiny beyond.”
Coincidently, late in 2009, a US Air Force recruiting commercial claiming their technology isn't “science fiction”, shows US troops tactically moving across a red and barren landscape that looks too much like Mars.
Resource wars will either end when the human race becomes extinct, or rage on forever and ever as humans migrate across the universe. A migration Carl Sagan predicted will undoubtedly occur because of man’s unwaivering desire to survive, he theorized. But Sagan also conceded that our collective stupidity might do us in before we even migrate off the planet. The irony is, it might just be a resource war that ends the human race.
Futurists and economists predict many nations, many years from now, will wage war for fresh water. It is almost inevitable if Global Warming and the Earth’s increasing population both continue to hurdle toward unsustainable proportions, they contend. In our time, the resource mankind has shed so much blood for is oil. When the Spanish and Aztecs battled in the 1520s, it was for gold and land. In America 1860s, the Civil War was fought over free labor. In the heart of Africa 1990s, a war was waged for coltan, a black metal needed to satiate the West's craving for personal electronics.
How about about 100 years from now? When oil, natural gas and coal are ancient history. When wind and solar power are unable to support billions of people. What will mankind be fighting over then? A super-fuel from the stars? If you know anything about being human, and about greed and power, it’s possible.
The answer to what resource man will be tragically dieing for long after current generations are gone, might lie in the current race for the Moon. A race many people aren't aware even started. But at the moment, nearly a dozen nations and corporations are planning to invade our nearest celestial neighbor – either with humans or robots – an invasion that could take twenty years or longer. And if mankind does make it back, we may potentially stay for years to come, and possibly as long as the Earth is around.
A rediscovery that could literally shatter the Moon
In 1985, a small team of fusion researchers from the University of Wisconsin made a “rediscovery” so potentially momentous it might someday literally shatter the surface of the Moon. The holidays were nearing, and the UW fusion research team was brainstorming: They wondered where they could find large quantities of Helium-3, or He3, an isotope of ordinary helium. Helium-3 is a proven fuel for nuclear fusion when you add Helium-3 to deuterium at a high temperature. One kg of Helium-3 burned with 67 kg of deuterium gives us nearly 20 megawatt-years of energy. Just two hundred pounds, they figured, could power a city of one million inhabitants for one year. Their calculation was based on dozens of incredibly small-scale fusion reactions they had carried out in a basketball-sized fusion device. Proving proof of principle, but at an extremely small rate.
“It was around Christmas. That's when we made what I like to call our rediscovery,” said Dr. Gerald Kulcinski, part of the UW team since the beginning and now the director of the Fusion Technology Institute at UW. Apollo astronauts, they remembered, had found quantities of Helium-3 on the moon, Kulcinski said. So they sought out NASA and inquired about their lunar soil samples.
“Apollo records showed that every sample of lunar material had Helium-3 in it,” Kulcinski said. Now, nestled among NASA's 200-point mission goals for lunar base plans is a proposal to mine the moon for this fuel. Even though so far there are no viable power plants that exist for it or efficient ways to bring it back to Earth.
Nevertheless, UW fusion researchers believe their plan could get civilization off fossil fuels. That’s if large crews and heavy equipment could go to the Moon to mine for Helium-3, super-heat it out of a lunar ore called ilmenite, process the gas, and return it to the Earth. Also, this incredible plan depends on whether large numbers of commercial fusion reactors could be built.
Their theory initially didn't shear off the tops of Moon mountains. But scientists and investors have taken notice. Now, China, India, the European Space Agency and Russia are also planning on a manned lunar base. There is increasing talk of a race to control this fuel, of which one Space Shuttle load could theoretically power the United States for a year.
Back on Earth, the UW fusion research inspired someone to become an unparalleled lobbyist. He began seeking funds from private investors and Washington. A person who has a very personal connection with the lunar surface.
Apollo 17 astronaut Harris Hagan “Jack” Schmitt shares the distance record for driving a NASA rover across the lunar surface – 22 miles through the Taurus-Littrow valley. He's also a former U.S. Senator of New Mexico. But long before being the last human to touch the moon, he was a geologist. And for the better part of the last two decades, the visiting UW professor has tried to persuade powerful people about the potential of Helium-3. He told a Senate committee in 2003 a return to the moon to stay would be comparable “to the movement of our species out of Africa.”
The rest of chapter can be read by purchasing John Lasker's "TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations from the Darkside of Technology, the US Military and UFOs" ($6.95) [link to store.theebooksale.com]
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02/16/2011 05:33 PM
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