Photo by Alexandra Rose on Unsplash

Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry.

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Hey, methane leakers: Now we know where you live

A European start-up uses satellite data to pinpoint individual sources of abnormal methane concentration.

Image: Kayrros
  • Just 100 sources of methane emit 20 megatons each year.
  • Thanks to satellite data, individual culprits can now be found.
  • The new tech could be used to police 'abnormal' methane emissions.
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Outer space capitalism: The legal and technical challenges facing the private space industry

The private sector may need the Outer Space Treaty to be updated before it can make any claims to celestial bodies or their resources.

  • The Outer Space Treaty, which was signed in 1967, is the basis of international space law. Its regulations set out what nations can and cannot do, in terms of colonization and enterprise in space.
  • One major stipulation of the treaty is that no nation can individually claim or colonize any part of the universe—when the US planted a flag on the Moon in 1969, it took great pains to ensure the world it was symbolic, not an act of claiming territory.
  • Essentially to do anything in space, as a private enterprise, you have to be able to make money. When it comes to asteroid mining, for instance, it would be "astronomically" expensive to set up such an industry. The only way to get around this would be if the resources being extracted were so rare you could sell them for a fortune on Earth.
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16 Psyche: The asteroid that could make every person on Earth a billionaire

Could 16 Psyche make every person on Earth a billionaire? The space mining race is heating up.

Maxar/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • 16 Psyche is an asteroid full of metal in the asteroid belt that could be worth $700 quintillion.
  • NASA plans to visit 16 Psyche by 2026.
  • Commercial mining of faraway asteroids could still be decades away and some set closer targets, like the moon.
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Blood diamonds, stolen cars, sweatshops: Blockchain stops all that

The technology is poised to change how many companies operate.

  • Blockchain technology, as a digital ledger for economic transactions, is poised to "radically" impact companies across the board.
  • It may help reinforce the trust in certain markets as sensors collect data throughout production.
  • Blockchain might also create a marketplace for whistleblowing.
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