FUEL CELLS forum: Fusion Fuel and mining for Helium-3... in space.After 13 years online, Cubits.org is scheduled to be shut down. Please make sure you have the contact information for all your friends, and that you download whatever content you want from this site.
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|Fusion fuel. Fusion physics.
Project Icarus is a five year study to launch an unmanned spacecraft to travel to a nearby star, interstellar travel.
This is a small summary of what I read in this really interesting article from Discovery.com. Iâ€™m more interested in the application of such energy as an Earth bound resource. Though it seems it could be a really challenge to â€œcontainâ€.
Hydrogen is a fusion fuel. It causes fusion propulsion. It fuses very, very slowly making it a very difficult fusion fuel to utilize. (think, Fuel Cell) â€œBut, thereâ€™s an answer: Add a neutron to the single proton in the heart of every hydrogen atom and you have deuterium, also known as â€œheavy hydrogenâ€.
Pure deuterium was used in the first hydrogen bomb detonated in 1952. Deuterium reactions are very hot and the heat must be gotten rid of or the engine device is degraded quickly.
However, there is a very attractive reaction between deuterium and a light isotope of helium known as helium-3. Helium-3 has one less neutron than regular helium (helium-4) and is also produced in the sun and almost as quickly consumed in fusion reactions as deuterium.
Helium-3 was known to have been on the Earth but itâ€™s long since blown away. (interesting thought).
But! It can be found in the â€œGas Minesâ€ of Uranus. (Iâ€™m not being funny).
Read more here:
image by Adrian Mann
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