Luxembourg’s return on investment in space has been enormous and its prestige throughout the world has reached new heights, argues Randy Evans
Photo: Matic Zorman
US ambassador Randy Evans says that Luxembourg’s emergence as a player in space has led to the two countries progressing on arrangements that will allow them to work together much more closely.
Having been here almost a year, one of the things that has struck me the most is just how much Luxembourg and the United States have in common. Certainly, each country has reached its current destiny in completely different ways. But, each has reached a place on the world stage fully capable of leading by example for the rest of the world to see and follow.
No one from either country suggests that they are ‘perfect’. In fact, in the United States, the United States Constitution begins with a simple acknowledgement: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, ...”. An effort that continues on today.
The pursuit of perfection is not, however, static. Both our countries have had to overcome enormous obstacles to achieve the success we have today. Even now, new obstacles stand in the way – always challenging, distracting, and sometimes even blocking the pursuit of perfection.
Yet, the common values of freedom, liberty, and opportunity for all remain steady beacons to guide us in our journey toward more perfect unions of peoples through our respective social contracts. We must never let our commitment to those fundamental principles fall prey to the politics of the moment or the challenges of the times.
Of course, our countries and peoples differ in their approach. But, it is the common destination that overcomes these differences. And that is something the United States and Luxembourg have successfully done for generations.
To stay on top, to move forward, and to make advances, we can never be content with the way things are. Neither technology, nor our impatience for better lives will allow it.
The United States did not get where it is today by locking itself into the past. And, Luxembourg has been able to stay one step ahead with steel, technology, finance, and now space leading the way.
As to the latter, space, I read recently where some questioned Luxembourg’s investment in space. Of course, we in the United States have invested much more including lives and treasure.
Indeed, space is a part of who we are. In April 1962, almost fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy set the bold goal of landing a man on the moon within one decade. He said: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
Bold in its pursuits in space
Many forget that such goals carry with them real risks beyond just the risk of failure. Instead, they include the risk of lives, money, and prestige.
Yet, notwithstanding the risks (and occasional setbacks), the United States remained committed to achieving its goal and we did it! Now, we set more goals, inspiring more minds, energizing more creativity, and carrying with us ‘hope’ for what’s next. Luxembourg has likewise been bold in its pursuits in space.
Like the United States, Luxembourg has suffered an occasional setback.
Yet, like the United States, Luxembourg’s pursuit of space, and its emerging role as a leader in space has made it a player in a sector where size doesn’t measure success. Instead, the possibilities for any country are limited only by the imagination of all those in Luxembourg who are looking to the future.
Even if money was the measure for success, Luxembourg’s “return on investment” in space has been enormous. Luxembourg’s prestige throughout the world has reached new heights.
Businesses in the space sector have flocked to Luxembourg in record numbers--even as other bigger countries try to lure them away. The truth is that Luxembourg has emerged as a player in space.
Space has enabled Luxembourg to secure a seat at the table as the next horizon matures for future generations to discover, explore, and visit. Such a role comes because Luxembourg leaders like deputy prime minister Etienne Schneider and the newly formed Luxembourg Space Agency had (and have) the vision to go where no man has gone before.
In this context, it gives me great pleasure to report that the United States of America and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are moving closer toward finalising an arrangement that allows both countries to work together much more closely in the space realm as we take another small step for man, but a big step for mankind.
Whatever platforms may emerge will be the product of collaborations we have through a closer working relationship between the United States of America and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Luxembourg and the USA have come a long way. But we have not stopped. The best is yet to come.
Randy Evans has been the US ambassador to Luxembourg since June 2018.