Jan Wörner, ESA director deneral, economy minister and Luxembourg deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider sign the accord, 27 November 2019. Top row, right, is Marc Serres, CEO, Luxembourg Space Agency
Photo: Luxembourg Space Agency
The European Space Agency has officially joined the Luxembourg Space Agency as a strategic partner in developing a European Space Resources Innovation Centre.
Representatives from both bodies signed a memorandum of cooperation, formalising the relationship at the ESA’s ministerial council Space19+ meeting in Seville Spain, on Wednesday.
The centre will work on developing solutions to make space exploration more efficient, by placing an initial focus is on space resource extraction, processing and manufacturing to advance sustainable space exploration. It is also expected to create additional opportunities for European and international innovation.
The agency said in a press statement:
“Together with ESA, the Luxembourg Space Agency will set up the facilities that will allow ground-based research on space resources for both public and private researchers from all over Europe, establishing the key European centre for space resources utilisation. The scope of the cooperation will include research, business support and incubation, knowledge management and competence concentration and community management.”
Luxembourg launched its SpaceResources.lu initiative in 2016 to promote and develop the research, economic and legal aspects of space resources.
In 2018, the economy ministry launched the Luxembourg Space Agency to centralise its activities in this new area of diversification.
The government has also issued a legal framework on the rights to space resources and signed memorandum of understandings on space matters with several countries.