Out of this world
Several years ago, I met a scientist who sat next to me on a plane and I learned that he happened to be an astronaut. This guy was really fascinating. He was a biochemist and was conducting experiments on the space shuttle. His experiment was to grow crystals from proteins. In essence they grow perfectly in space because there is no gravity.
Why is this important?
Because if a perfect crystal can be produced, its molecular structure can be accurately mapped right down to each individual atom by subjecting it to x-rays.
Why is that important?
Because once the atomic structure is known exactly, drugs can easily and quickly be engineered and developed to accomplish all kinds of things like cure diseases and kill bad bugs and so forth. Wow! I asked what disease he was working toward curing?
Anthrax. He has developed a drug that will kill anthrax and can even be taken in the form of a pill ahead of time to prevent it. He referred to it as an anthrax prophylactic. LOL Then he told me that a terrorist could disperse a thimble full of anthrax using a common atomizer and in an afternoon wipe out 1/3rd of the population of Washington D.C. The people would die in less than a week. Anthrax causes death by suffocation as the “bugs” fill up your lungs and the blood and volume of bacteria in effect smother you to death. There is currently more concern over this threat by those “in the know” than over the threat of nuclear war.
I asked him if he was a Christian and he said that he believed in God prior to going up on the shuttle and now is even more convinced. He said the most striking thing he remembered was how fragile the thin blue line of our earth’s atmosphere looked from outer space. He said it made him shudder to think about how we were destroying it with pollution. Once the thin blue line is destroyed we are gone with it.
Are we trading industry for life?
Meeting him and hearing all of this made me think about our classic battle between good and evil. How some are Hell-bent towards destroying God’s creations and how others are fighting them “tooth and nail”, even in outer space. Good will ultimately win the war against evil, but there are many battles that must be fought.
We cannot all be astronauts and fight the good fight personally, but we can all be a part of missions like this one by praying for those who risk their lives for the greater good of the rest of us. Incidentally the odds of another shuttle blowing up were one in twenty-six, or one in seventy-eight, according to whether or not you believe NASA, or the Air Force. Either way it was dangerous business. We are in debt to brave men and women like this who risk their very lives to fight terrorism and the dark forces.
Blessed are the peacemakers
For they shall be called sons