Asteroid mining wins another adept with the duchy of Luxembourg eagerly following in the footsteps of the U.S. Last year, President Obama signed the U.S. Space Act, a controversial piece of legislation which encourages the private sector to seize the momentous opportunity that is asteroid mining.
This Wednesday, Luxembourg – the tiny European country, officially announced its plans to join the budding space industry. The plans are officially backed by the country’s Ministry of Economy. As it stands, the plans are part of an European framework to join asteroid mining. Luxembourg would be spearheading the efforts to develop the regulatory and legal framework regarding asteroid mining, the ownership of minerals and other aspects. Research and development are part of the ambitious plans. Furthermore, Luxembourg may already invest in companies which are already active in this field of the space industry.
According to the deputy prime minister as well as the minister of economy of Luxembourg:
“Our aim is to open access to a wealth of previously unexplored mineral resources on lifeless rocks hurling through space, without damaging natural habitats”.
The European country plans to support the strong development of activities in the satellite and space industries as key activities in the high-tech sector.
Luxembourg is the one of the wealthiest states in Europe and Eurozone. Moreover, the country has an established record with the space industry. Against this background, asteroid mining wins another adept with the duchy of Luxembourg. What could be gained from speeding into space to reach asteroids, these seemingly barren space rocks?
Asteroids are rich in valuable minerals. Platinum, tungsten and gold are just a few of the minerals found on the space rocks. A legal framework is certainly needed to further strengthen the basis of asteroid mining. The budding asteroid mining industry is at least in theory open to all interested parties. However, this seemingly open access may lead to conflicts. Private investors and governments alike are preparing for a new type of race beyond the atmosphere of our own planet.
Luxembourg is a well-established actor in the satellite industry. Now, it has also become the first European country to place its bets on asteroid mining rights.
According to the official press release, the initiative spearheaded by Luxembourg will be led by the former director general of the European Space Agency, Jean-Jacques Dordain. Dordain stated that the initiative stands as clear proof of the innovation Europe is capable of and the Europeans’ willingness to take risks. While asteroid mining may take a while to become reality, the initiative stands on solid ground and technological advancements.
Asteroid mining wins another adept with the duchy of Luxembourg, albeit this is not the first time the European country has made a go at this sector of the space industry. SES, company based here, is the owner and operator of 50 geostationary satellites.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia