I think that’s $10,000 Quadrillion.
I was going to write something about the arrest of Noor Salman. Noor Salman, widow of the June, 2016, Orlando terrorist attacker, Omar Mateen, was arrested today in connection with the attack. Make of that what you will.
Then I saw, read about rather, the rock. It’s an asteroid named Psyche. And NASA is setting out to explore it.
The 200km-wide asteroid is currently orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.
It is made up of various precious metals such as iron, nickel and gold.
Experts believe the iron alone in the rock would be worth $10,000 quadrillion – enough to cause the world’s economy, worth $73.7 trillion, to promptly collapse altogether.
Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission and the director of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, told Canada’s Global News: ““Even if we could grab a big metal piece and drag it back here … what would you do?
“Could you kind of sit on it and hide it and control the global resource — kind of like diamonds are controlled corporately — and protect your market?
“What if you decided you were going to bring it back and you were just going to solve the metal resource problems of humankind for all time?”
Arizona State University.
So, why did I pick the one story over the other? Several reasons: First, I hate terrorism. At the same time I do not trust the government. You can kinda see the issues there if you look. And it’s old news. Important maybe, but dated – and I’m tired of that story. We’re sure to keep suffering fresh terrorism at any rate.
Most importantly, Noor and Omar are the past. They represent the same violent, idiocy that has plagued mankind since the days of the caveman. The asteroid represents the future. I know the thing has been around for a long time but it still points a way forward for humanity.
I do not buy the “crash the world economy” headlines – hyperbole and mere extreme example. Getting there will take 13 years and then what? As the story implies there isn’t much we could do with all that metal. Yet.
But we will need it sooner or later. Either from that giant rock or from another source.
No reason to bring it all back to earth either.
Sure, I’ll bet there are a few banksters who would love to corner the market on asteroid metals and crush the rest of us. To hell with them. They can join Omar in the dustbin. Their schemes have been and ever will be useless.
There is, however, a more worthy use of such abundant heavenly materials. Yesterday I wrote a review about the movie Passengers. The film involved the ever-so-attractive Jennifer Lawrence and some joker stranded on a big spaceship for a 120-year interstellar voyage.
That big ship was made of something. And the something had to come from somewhere. Yes, right now, we build our little ships from Earthly materials. But such a large vessel would have to be constructed in space. That means moving large amounts of material up there. And that material has other uses on this planet.
Fortunately, the Lord has given us Psyche and other giant mineral depositories along with the sketchy know-how to reach them. Eventually we could tow a big rock into intermediate orbit, say between us and the moon. Then we could set up a mining operation and an adjacent spaceship factory.
It’s cozy, if difficult. But we will do it someday – probably in the next 200 years or so. We can also expect to find gases and nuclear materials for propulsion out there too. Some day we will build and operate the big ships on big missions. And, as in the movie, they will be private property.
NASA is doing the groundwork, now, similar to Ferdinand and Isabella’s financing of Columbus. As the oceans are, today, the realm of free enterprise and private affairs, so space will be later.
When? No idea. But it is kind of cool to think about. In fact, it rocks… Get it? Rocks? Rock in space… eh….