Space Race 2.0? Hardly.
The internet this past week has been abuzz with stories of NASA vs. their old nemesis, the Russkies - this time about plans to return to the Moon, and how NASA has turned down Russian offers of cooperation on the mission. Speculators speculate that this is to "deny Russia access to an isotope in abundance under the moon's surface that many believe could replace fossil fuels and even end the threat of global warming."
I initially thought to just ignore this and other similar articles because they are written by journalists who are paid to produce, regardless of the actual nutritional value of the content they churn out. However, when this particular article made its way to the Motley Fool financial discussion boards, and people there started discussing this as if it were serious, I realised that the Kool-Aid problem is as real as ever. And so we don our trusty capes and swords and once more proceed into battle with the forces of stupidity.
Problem: there are so many things wrong with this NASA vs Russia for the future of He3 story it's hard to know where to start.
Let's stick with the basics, then:
1) We don't have the ability to mine the moon
2) We don't have the space vehicles to go to or from the moon, much less transship anything of significant mass.
3) The ISS as we know it won't be functional in another 15 years (i'll take wagers on that if anyone doubts me), and can't serve as a staging post for any such transshipment.
oh, and here's the real doozy:
4) We don't have a functional fusion reactor on Earth, so fuel for such a "reactor" is, as the article points out, the equivalent of medieval alchemy.
But hey, they get paid to write, so they'll write, even if it's nonsense. And we'll continue to be Cynics, even though we don't get paid to be.
p.s. - Happy 40th Birthday to my brother Baber. Technically it's still May 1 where you are, but here in Sydney it's already the 2nd.