We Commit To The Moon-Mars Mission - The True Spark for Changing the Culture - Report - Page 10
ly all of the fusion energy can be directly applied to the
thrust propelling the spacecraft—allowing for far more
efficient engine designs.
It has been estimated that there is enough helium-3
on the Moon to power the Earth for thousands of years.
The unique availability of this ideal fusion fuel on the
Moon, coupled with the fusion requirements for space
travel and for powering the Earth, push the lunar helium-3 program to the forefront of the lunar industrialization program.
The Suppression of Fusion
The reason we don’t have commercial, widespread
fusion power today is that the required crash program
was never implemented. For example, in 1976, the U.S.
Energy Research and Development Administration
defined a comprehensive proposal for a crash program
to develop fusion power in 15 to 30 years—an approach that would have brought fusion power online
by 2005 at the latest, and by 1990 at the earliest.
This 1976 proposal for a fusion crash program called
for a total funding that would have been in between the
total funding of two earlier successful crash programs:
the Manhattan Project and the Apollo program. And
the average annual funding would have been less than
or equal to that of the Manhattan Project.
Values are in 2008 dollars.
Actual fusion funding is
from the Department of
Energy for magnetic confinement fusion research
and development (average
annual values cover 1976 to
2005). The 1976 fusion plan
values are from the “Fusion
Power by Magnetic Confinement: Program Plan: 1976,”
ERDA-76/110. The “fusion
funding shortfall” compares
actual funding with “Logic
III” (fusion power by 1998)
from the 1976 program plan.
The Manhattan Project and
Apollo Program values are
from “The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and
the Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis,” by Stine,
June 30, 2009, Congressional
Research Service, RL34645.
At the time of this 1976 study, it was also noted that
constant funding at the then-projected, non-crashprogram 1978 level would be insufficient to achieve
the fusion breakthrough—it was a “fusion never” level of funding. In reality, since the early 1980s, fusion
funding has been below the “fusion never” level, and
far below the crash program requirements.
The reason your home isn’t powered by abundant,
cheap fusion power today is that the required investments were simply never made.
We Commit to the Moon-Mars Mission