JavaScript is disabled
Our website requires JavaScript to function properly. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser settings before proceeding.
Nestled in 3.82 pounds of moon soil is what China hopes could be the answer to fueling its future.

Chinese nuclear scientists are studying samples carried back by China's Chang'e 5 late last year in the first mission to return with lunar material since the Soviet Union's in 1976. One of those under the microscope at the Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology is a 50-milligram rock—approximately the size of a lentil—believed to contain an isotope called helium-3.

The isotope, a variant of the atom helium with a different number of neutrons, is thought by scientists to have the potential to one day provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, as it isn't radioactive. Rare on Earth, helium-3 is thought to be abundant on the moon.

While researchers in the U.S. and other nations have studied the isotope, China's renewed pursuit is part of a decadeslong plan to establish itself as a leading space power, mirroring the country's rising economic and strategic influence on Earth. Since being shut out of working with the U.S. space agency by law a decade ago, the country has invested heavily in its own program. China is still playing catch-up technologically but is seeking to gain an edge through its moon missions.

Somebody please explain this to me. Fusion usually refers to the creation of helium from 2 hydrogen atoms, as in H + H > He + energy. That's what happens in the sun or an H bomb. He from the sun is a waste product of this reaction. So how do you start with He (no matter what isoptope) and get fusion. I'm confused. :s0117: :s0092:

ETA: What is He-3 safer than? Helium is not radioactive - it's used to fill helium balloons. Neither is hydrogen. So how is He-3 safer than He-2. Why go to the moon for helium? I don't get it. OK, I got a "D" in physics, but can they be that stupid at the WSJ?
Last Edited:

Upcoming Events

Classic Gun & Knife Show
Mount Vernon, WA
McMinnville Gun and Knife Show
McMinnville, OR
Redmond Gun Show
Redmond, OR

New Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top