Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B Mining of He-3 on the Moon?

  1. May 28, 2017 #1
    There's been talk about extracting Helium-3 from the Moon as a source of nuclear fusion energy because of it's efficiency and nonradioactive-ness--but I haven't seen anyone talk about any kind of side effects it could have either on the Moon itself, to people, etc. I understand because of it's extremely small abundance on Earth it becomes difficult to study to a greater extent, but does anyone have an idea on how it can negatively affect us?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2017 #2

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Chemically, helium-3 is completely inert and partakes in no biological reactions, nor does it form molecules except in extremely rare instances. It poses no danger to anyone.
     
  4. May 28, 2017 #3
    Does anyone have an idea if it'll affect the moon in some way? I always keep in mind how people used to think cigarettes were fine until we actually understood it more.
     
  5. May 28, 2017 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm sorry I don't understand your question. What do you mean when you ask if it will affect the Moon? Are you referring to the mining process?
     
  6. May 28, 2017 #5
    Yea, because humans are planning to 'modify' the Moon, I speculate if there would be any negative affects on the Moon.
     
  7. May 28, 2017 #6

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What would be a negative effect? Usually we talk about the negative effects of mining here on Earth in the context of the displacement of life, the destruction of their habitats, and the pollution of the biosphere, but obviously none of that is an issue on the Moon.
     
  8. May 28, 2017 #7

    sophiecentaur

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I can't think of any effect that removing H-3 from the Moon could have on it. It's an inert gas in microscopically small quantities. The mining process would, of course, be very invasive because such a lot of lunar material would need to be excavated and crushed. But dust is not a problem on the Moon as there is a lot of it about anyway.
    That's not a comparable case. Smoking involves adding reactive substances in large quantities to the body.
     
  9. May 28, 2017 #8

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    I am with @Drakkith on this. What do you mean "negative effects"? The moon isn't alive so you can't make it sick.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Mining of He-3 on the Moon?
  1. The moon (Replies: 11)

  2. He Canister (Replies: 6)

  3. He-3 and He-4 (Replies: 5)

  4. The moon (Replies: 25)

Loading...