Reply to post: Re: 1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: 1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

"because the Americans had refused to supply Nazi Germany"

Or in other words "Because helium wasn't available"

Just because it exists doesn't mean it's available.

FWIW most of the world's supply of helium currently comes from natural gas wells, but only about 0.01% of them worldwide are setup to capture the stuff (the rest just vent it).

There wouldn't be much of a shortage if more wells added helium capture tech (cost is the barrier - mainly that of trying to retain the stuff, it permeates through most containment) or if molten salt nuclear tech becomes commercially viable (the nuclear process produces quite a bit of helium but with current tech it mostly stays stuck in fuel rods and what doesn't is hard to capture from a high temperature high pressure sealed environment. Molten salt systems are unpressurised and need a sparge space behind the circulation pumps so it's mostly in one place and easy to capture)

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