Helium shortage is no laughing matter
Helium helped the United States close the dirigible gap with Nazi Germany. It propelled NASA spaceward. But now, the nation is selling off its vast helium reserve — in such a ham-fisted way that it’s led to a shortage of the gas. In 1996, a cost-cutting Republican Congress passed legislation requiring the government to get rid of most of its massive helium stockpile, which is located underground near Amarillo, Texas, the self-proclaimed helium capital of the world.