On the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing today's scientists point to new frontiers. On the horizon are cures for diseases, "holistic reinvention" of vehicles, an understanding of the human brain—and fusion energy.
"The greatest scientific challenges facing our world involve the production and distribution of energy," writes Earl Scime from the University of West Virginia in an article published in News Guide today. "Nuclear fusion, having already demonstrated impressive progress over the past 50 years, is poised to make the next step toward energy production with the international ITER Project—which will demonstrate controlled nuclear fusion. As a nation, we need to increase our involvement in ITER to the level of a major contributor and foster the innovation needed to design fusion systems that will be more economically viable and less complicated than ITER. It would take a "moon race" or "Manhattan-level" project to move fusion energy from a scientific challenge to an implementation challenge. With vast supplies of fusion fuel, an energy based economy is feasible."