One Mined Asteroid Would Eclipse Britain's Whole Economy

The value locked away inside asteroids is enough to raise the world economic ceiling to unbelievable heights.

One Mined Asteroid Would Eclipse Britain's Whole Economy

The value locked away inside asteroids is enough to raise the world economic ceiling to unbelievable heights. A bill recently passed by Congress — the Asteroid Act — borrows from Adam Smith's famous dictum on how ownership is acquired: The apple becomes mine when I invest my labor in picking it.


Similarly, any company to successfully mine an asteroid can claim its resources as private property, and that has the potential to make a small number of individuals extremely wealthy. A mid-sized asteroid's worth of platinum, for example, would eclipse the entire GDP of the UK by nearly a third.

Such a scenario is not unimaginable as there are more than 10,000 near-Earth asteroids that private space companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries are working to assess — for both their resources and their ability to be successfully mined. 

X Prize founder and Big Think expert Peter Diamandis believes space excavation will create the first trillionaire (which my spellcheck doesn't currently recognize as a word). But it's not just the search for wealth that propels us toward asteroids:

Read more at Science.Mic.

Fast superhighway through the Solar System discovered

Scientists find routes using arches of chaos that can lead to much faster space travel.

Arches of chaos in space manifolds.

Courtesy: Nataša Todorović, Di Wu and Aaron Rosengren/Science Advances
Surprising Science
  • Researchers discovered a route through the Solar System that can allow for much faster spacecraft travel.
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How Apple and Nike have branded your brain

A new episode of "Your Brain on Money" illuminates the strange world of consumer behavior and explores how brands can wreak havoc on our ability to make rational decisions.

Apple logo

Vegefox.com via Adobe Stock
  • Effective branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired.
  • Our new series "Your Brain on Money," created in partnership with Million Stories, recently explored the surprising ways brands can affect our behavior.
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How Apple and Nike have branded your brain

Powerful branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired.

How Apple and Nike have branded your brain
Sponsored by Singleton
  • Powerful branding can not only change how you feel about a company, it can actually change how your brain is wired.
  • "We love to think of ourselves as rational. That's not how it works," says UPenn professor Americus Reed II about our habits (both conscious and subconscious) of paying more for items based primarily on the brand name. Effective marketing causes the consumer to link brands like Apple and Nike with their own identity, and that strong attachment goes deeper than receipts.
  • Using MRI, professor and neuroscientist Michael Platt and his team were able to see this at play. When reacting to good or bad news about the brand, Samsung users didn't have positive or negative brain responses, yet they did have "reverse empathy" for bad news about Apple. Meanwhile, Apple users showed a "brain empathy response for Apple that was exactly what you'd see in the way you would respond to somebody in your family."
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