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Helium-3

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Helium-3 is an isotope of helium that is used in nuclear fusion reactors, and as fuel for "fusion torches", which are the main commercial form of starship thruster. For this reason, it is a key resource in the galactic economy. Helium-3 can often be found in the atmospheres of gas giants, from where it can be easily and cheaply skimmed.

History Edit

Historical Usage Edit

Archeological evidence suggests the ancient Protheans used helium-3, as there is evidence of helium-3 mining on planets such as Zafe and Sharring in formerly Prothean-inhabited systems. It is also believed that the ancient arthenn civilization mined helium-3 on Gaelon.

Before its facilities were destroyed in the Krogan Rebellions, the planet Vard was the key helium-3 producer for all of krogan space - its destruction by Citadel Spectres early in the wars was a strategic setback that the krogan fleets never fully recovered from. The original facilities had been constructed with salarian aid.

Human Development Edit

Luna became an early source of helium-3 for humans. Mining operations eventually moved onto the gas giants of the solar system, especially Saturn and Uranus. Eldfell-Ashland Energy first demonstrated helium-3 mining on Saturn in 2137. Neptune remained undeveloped in this time before FTL, due to its distance. Uranus remains the key producer of helium-3 for the Systems Alliance, being close to Earth, and because out of all the Sol system's gas giants, its smaller gravity well makes it easier, and therefore cheaper, to mine.

Later, after the discovery of the mass relays, mining began on extrasolar planets in Alliance space such as Zion, which supplies the nearby colony of Eden Prime. Planets like Zion and Borr are developed due to their proximity to colonies. Locality seems to be the most important factor in determining where helium-3 is mined.


Mass Effect Edit

In order to help the Systems Alliance expand and maintain its fleets, Commander Shepard can survey many planets for helium-3 and other gases.


Mass Effect 2 Edit

Helium-3 fuel depots are scattered across the many systems the Normandy SR-2 can visit in 2185.


Mass Effect 3 Edit

The Reapers targeted many of the younger races' fuel lines during their all-out invasion of the galaxy in 2186. Ruins of helium-3 infrastructure now litter the numerous gas giants they formerly skimmed the fuel from.

Helium-3 Mining Operations Edit

Active Edit


Inactive Edit

  • Alformus - helium-3 stations destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2185.
  • Azimir - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Bastzuda - planet destroyed in the Bahak system's annihilation.
  • Borr - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Eirene - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Essenus - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Gaelon - possibly once mined for helium-3 by the arthenn.
  • Jonus - abandoned on or before 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Katebolo - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Linossa - theorized to have been mined by former inhabitants of Etamis.
  • Locil - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Nataisa - construction of extraction facility delayed in 2185, pending contractor troubles.
  • Paphos - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Ponos - facilities destroyed in one of Aite's numerous wars.
  • Raysha - helium-3 skimming facilities abandoned when prospectors failed to hit pay dirt on Klensal.
  • Rotesk - extraction facility destroyed due to neglect.
  • Sangel - abandoned by the elcor during the Reaper invasion.
  • Silva - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Sharring - ruins on Sharring's moons indicate a possible Prothean helium-3 mining operation.
  • Solu Paolis - extraction station booby-trapped by the volus then destroyed during the Reaper invasion.
  • Urmola - planet destroyed in Bahak's system-wide annihilation.
  • Uza - facilities destroyed during the Reaper invasion, but evidence suggests the batarians themselves were at fault.
  • Vard - krogan helium-3 mining infrastructure destroyed during the Krogan Rebellions.
  • Welm Urun - active until 2186, when its infrastructure was destroyed by Reapers.
  • Zafe - possible ruins of Prothean helium-3 mining stations.

Trivia Edit

  • Many scientists and science fiction authors have proposed that in the future, humanity could mine helium-3 from the solar system, as an alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear fission. See fusion power on Wikipedia.

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