October 3, 2018 By Joseph P. Farrell

We've been hearing a lot in recent years about the possibility of mining the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. In fact, as I've pointed out on various occasions, the amount of derivatives on the books - various estimates give between  14 and 17 quadrillion dollars, an amount that's a multiple of the entire global domestic product. That's $14,000,000,000,000,000.00 folks. At the rate that Mr. Globaloney invents "financial instruments" to create paper profits, we'll soon have to start writing our checks with exponential notations just to accommodate all those zeros. Seriously though, it intrigues me how, after the 2008 financial crisis, the derivatives problem was mentioned, and then just dropped right off the radar. Have you noticed the various financial advisory sites don't even mention them?

There may be a reason for that. Back in 2014 at the San Mateo Secret Space Program conference I offered the hypothesis that there was a connection between all the "resources" that were "out there," and the possibility that they had already been collateralized in a "secret system of finance." A few years later, estimates about the monetary of certain asteroids began to be circulated in various articles about space mining, and low and behold, one asteroid's total value was estimated to be about - here it comes - sixteen quadrillion dollars. In other words, grabbing those asteroids was a nifty way to rebalance those books and wipe out all that bad paper.

The trouble is, of course, one has to go out and get it. One has to place actual machinery on an actual asteroid, dig it up, and bring it home.

Many people noticed this story and shared it, and it's in the context of space mining and those systems of finance that I believe it should be read:

Japan space robots start asteroid survey

A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, Japan's space agency said Saturday, as it conducts a mission aiming to shed light on the origins of the solar system.

The mission marks the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid , according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The round, cookie tin-shaped robots successfully reached the Ryugu asteroid a day after they were released from the Hayabusa2 probe, the agency said.

"Each of the rovers is operating normally and has started surveying Ryugu's surface," JAXA said in a statement.

Taking advantage of the asteroid's low gravity, the rovers will jump around on the surface—soaring as high as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying there for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features.

"I am so proud that we have established a new method of space exploration for small celestial bodies," said JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda.

In other words, Japan has now taken the next necessary step in the technology and capability tree toward the practical use of space resources; in fact, it has taken two steps: (1) perfecting and demonstrating the capability to land a craft on a low-gravity celestial body, and (2) surveying it.

There is of course a wrinkle here: I've been saying all along that chemical rockets are simply not adequate to any sustained human presence in deep space, much less for mining. And the Japanese probes, of course, used rockets to get their probes to the asteroid. But this, in the final analysis, is not a problem: even more exotic methods of propulsion would still require a great deal of engineering finesse and capability to land on an asteroid.
Japan just took that step, and it's a major step with huge implications for the long term development of space.
And that means something else folks: Japan is a player.
See you on the flip side...