I watched a documentary on the Science channel, recently. And the reason why Bush is bent on reinstating NASA’s planetary exploration program became clear.
First, some background. There’s a man out west who got the bright idea of selling plots on the moon. Never mind that he doesn’t own the real estate he’s selling. When he started, it was just a lark. At $36.00 per plot, he has, so far, sold $9,000,000+ worth of property up there—and no one has stopped him. In fact three presidents, Carter, Reagan and G.W. Bush, have bought moon plots, so far—along with a lot of other people.
Now, fast forward to today.
Nuclear fission has been, so far, the only practical way to create nuclear energy for powering our civilization. Nuclear fusion on a large scale simply isn’t possible—if you are bound to the earth. But, it turns out, the sun continuously churns out helium three [he3]. The particles are blocked by the atmosphere from reaching the earth. But, they’ve been building up on the moon for millennia. So, now, several countries [including the US and Russia] are waking up to the riches that can be gleaned by strip mining the moon.
Enter the idea of colonizing the moon. Whoever can get there first and lay claim to it can make $billions or trillions by exploiting the he3. They're going so far as to call the moon the Middle East of the twenty-first century. Now, that's a chilling thought.
Here we go again. When the possibilities involving oil began to be realized, no doubt the numbers were bandied about much as people are doing now. ‘There are billions of tons of oil under the ground. All we have to do is drill for it. It’s all around us!’ How fast have we run through that oil? And, how many wars have occurred, and how many people have died, because of it? Obviously, people are willing to pay any amount—so long as their gas-guzzlers are kept running.
Now, a scientist has discovered how to squeeze water out of moon dust. It takes enormous amounts of energy—but it can be done. So, the main ingredient for terra-forming the moon is available on site. And all that he3 is just sitting there waiting for the greediest to seize it.
The race is on.