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Start: An article on the Telegraph news website from February of this year noted a chill in the relationship between Russia and the United States, and hinted at the possibility of a new Cold War in space. Adrian Blomfield’s piece “Russia sees moon plot in NASA plans” reports that Russian officials claim their nation’s offers the the United States to participate in a cooperative Moon effort have been rebuffed.

Why?

Because. The ice on the Moon is better.

And why is that?

Though it would be easy to imagine a customer of a Star Wars cantina making this odd comment (in subtitles), the real reason is that, assuming there is any ice there, it should be, unlike earthly ice, chock-full of an isotope of helium called helium 3.

A plentiful supply of helium 3 — rare on Earth, but abundant in space — combined with an as-yet unperfected nuclear fusion technology, could potentially provide an efficient source of power and a meaningful, clean alternative to fossil fuels for an energy-hungry Earth.

The Russian claim is that the United States wants to control it.

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