Thursday / 28 July 2016

Nuclear Power On Moon, Mars, Beyond

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SETI Institute Science Colloquium At Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus Features Frank Shu, Professor Emeritus, University Of California Berkeley; Discusses Lunar Base As Wise First Step Toward Humans Colonizing Mars, Traveling To The Stars; Shu Notes Lunar Water Ice Harvesting / Electrolysis To Produce Habitat-Critical Oxygen (& Hydrogen For Fuel) Requires Primary Power Source; Presents Patented Design For Two-Fluid Molten-Salt Breeder-Reactor (2F-MSBR) Using In Situ Thorium; Overlooks Potential For Photo-Voltaic Power At Peaks Of Eternal Light (Areas Of Near-Continuous Illumination) At Moon South Pole

Credit: SETI Institute, UC Berkeley, NASA

Thursday / 8 January 2015

Is Helium-3 Most Valuable Resource On Moon?

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Projections Indicate Clean Fusion Technology Powered By Helium-3 Can Produce 18.4 MeV Of Energy, 1 Metric Ton Of The Rare Element Could Power Tokyo For 1 Year; Could Be Used To Propel Spaceships Facilitating Trips To Mars In <100 Days, Jupiter In <200 Days; Potential Fuel For Thermonuclear Weaponry Which Could Be Used To Protect Earth From Dangerous Asteroids; Speculation Abounds That Interest In He-3 Is Primary Driver Of China & Perhaps India Lunar Program, Next Step For China Is 2017 Chang’e-5 Sample Return Mission

Pictured (TR): Chang’e-1-Produced Map Of He-3 Distribution On Nearside Moon

Image Credit: NAOC, ocw.mit.edu

 

Tuesday / 16 September 2014

Thorium Distribution Reveals Clues To Lunar History & Future

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Analysis Of Compton-Belkovich Region On Moon Farside Shows Thorium Concentration Of 15 – 33ppm, Additional Thorium Unexpectedly Found Spread Up To 300km Eastward Of Region At ~2ppm; Distribution Of Thorium Likely Created By Explosive Eruption Of Silica Magma; Thorium Has Long Been Identified As A Potential Safe, Valuable Alternative For Nuclear Power & Option To Power Lunar Settlements; Spacepowers India & China Are Developing Plans To Advance Terrestrial Thorium Reactor Development

Image Credit: NASA, US Geological Society

Weekend Edition / Fri-Mon 9-12 Aug 2013

Chang’e-3 Moon Lander / Rover Expected To Launch Dec 2013

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China Set To Make 1st Soft Landing Moon Mission In December 2013 Says China Rocket Expert & CLEP Adviser Lehao Long (TR); RTG Will Power Rover & Keep It Operational For Up To 30 Years; Chief Lunar Scientist Ziyuan Ouyang S  ays High-End Technology Has Solved Problem Of Large Temperature Variance; Mission Will Study Surface / Geological Structure Of Moon & Plasmasphere Electromagnetic Fields Above Earth

Image Credit: China Daily, CNSA

Tuesday / 23 April 2013

Chang’e-3 Coming Into Focus

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Oct 2013 Launch Of Chang’e-3 Now Unlikely Despite History & Mission Goals; Service Module, Lander Vehicle & Rover, With Total Mass Of 3,800kg, To Launch Aboard Upgraded CZ-3B Rocket; Landing Vehicle Is First Nuclear-Powered China Spacecraft, Designed For Operational Life Of 12 Lunar Months; Solar-Powered Rover Designed For 90 Lunar Days

Image Credit: CLEP, CNSA

Tuesday / 16 April 2013

RESOLVE: Ambitious Mission On Tight Budget / Timeline

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With US$250M Budget Cap 2017 RESOLVE Mission Needs To Achieve Ambitious Goals Within Challenging Timeline; Unable To Afford Nuclear Power, Solar-Powered RESOLVE Will Be Limited To 5 Active Days On Lunar Pole To Accomplish Mission Goals: Search For Hydrogen, Drill 1 Meter, Analyze Sample, Heat To Extract Liquid Water, Demonstrate How Oxygen Can Be Pulled From Regolith & Mixed With Hydrogen To Produce Water, Help Determine Origin Of Lunar Water

Image Credit: NASA