With all this talk about running out of oil and the future of technology and such, i have to wonder why we are putting hardly any money into building interstellar space craft. I know, some of you are like whoa thats a pipe dream, we will never reach another star. But most people 100 years ago didnt think people would fly around in planes today, much less walk on the moon or send probes to mars. But anyway here is my pet peeve. The Government gives NASA over 16 billion a year in funding...how much of that goes to researching propulsion technology? I'll tell you....a whooping 133 million...less than 1% of NASAs total budget. If we put more money into our propultion technology we could get to jupiter, uranus or neptune sooner. Why do we want to go there you ask? Helium-3. Ah i bet you never heard of it...Well Helium-3 is virtually non-existant on earth...but with it you can use it for an electrical power plant that is very clean and cheaper than coal, oil or whatever....well technically its not cheaper now only because we dont have the technology to go get it. If current annual global industrial energy consumption is 10,000 GWyear then you only need 5400 tons of helium-3 in a fusion reactor..thats for the whole planet. Just in the US alone in 2004 we used over 1 billion tons of coal in electric powerplants and coal is a major cause of polution. There are also tons of asteroids that could be mined for the resources. They estimate that an asteroid 1 mile x 1 milex x 1mile has minerals that would be worth 1 TRILLION dollars. If we increase our technology in propulsion it would be alot cheaper militarily speaking. Imagine flying a ship halfway around the world in 5 minutes at a cost of 50 cents. Could deploy alot of troops really fast that way...could even send them home every night to be with their families. But for some reason NASA is spending BILLIONS of that money on things like earth science, search for origins, biological and physical research, human and robotic technology. And 6 billion alone is going to operations....Overpaid scientist. I bet we could cut the operations to 1 billion a year (getting rid of everyone but the research scientists and cut every other program of NASAs and put 15 billion into propulsion, the worlds energy would be at our control and not OPECs in about 3 years. With that much extra funding, our advancement could be over 100 times faster than it is now. Imagine 300 years worth of propulsion technology by 2009. Many people submit propulsion ideas to NASA every year...most of the time they dont even look at it if it says the word "warp drive, faster than light, or gravity drive." in the title page. This would actually be an amazing opportunity for someone with a few billion to throw out there to start their own propulsion research company. Once you have the propulsion technology, the sky's the limit...or maybe i should say...the universe is the limit.