If NASA’s planetary protection officer fails to defend the world from aliens, there are two other planets to run to. With the potential of a not-so-friendly E.T. on everyone’s mind, internal threats don’t seem possible. However, NASA now has its eyes set on defusing a Yellowstone super volcano, which could see the end of an entire continent.
An enormous pool of magma sits high in the Earth’s crust. It’s been calculated to contain about 60 billion cubic miles of molten rock.
For scale, if the Yellowstone were to erupt, it would bury much of the United States under a blanket of ash and lava. Not to mention it’d drastically alter the world’s climate for at least a few centuries. Yellowstone isn’t going to erupt anytime soon, but NASA is eager to take some precautionary measures.
NASA scientists propose drilling a 5-mile-deep hole into the hydrothermal water below and to the sides of the magma chamber. These fluids… already drain some 60 to 70 percent of the heat from the magma chamber below.
Yes, NASA’s genius solution is a giant hole and some cold water, which will cost them $3.5 billion. It may sound rudimentary, but if it means we aren’t going to meet an ashy demise, I’m all for it!