A promotional video for Luxembourg’s space mining initiative posted in February on YouTube
Luxembourg’s government has budgeted €200m to fund its new asteroid mining initiative.
SpaceResources.lu, an initiative launched in February, is promoting the developing of the Grand Duchy’s space sector. The government has said it will introduce a legal “framework” for the mining of mineral-rich asteroids that would take effect in 2017. That would make Luxembourg the first European country to do so; the US passed a space mining act last November.
Under its proposed law, the Grand Duchy will issue licenses to companies regardless of nationality, as long they set up operations in Luxembourg. Those firms can access the €200m in seed funding.
Jean-Jacques Dordain, Xavier Bettel, Étienne Schneider and Simon “Pete” Worden during the SpaceResources.lu press conference on Friday. Photo: Christophe Olinger
“The main objective is to attract entrepreneurs, to create jobs in Luxembourg and become the largest market in terms of exploration programs,” Jean-Jacques Dordain, a former director general of the European Space Agency who is now an advisor to the SpaceResources.lu project, said during a press conference on Friday.
“Luxembourg’s aim is to be in the top 10 space faring nations in the world,” Étienne Schneider, the LSAP deputy prime minister, said during the press conference, according to the Reuters news agency.
Commercial space mining laws possibly violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which both the US and the Grand Duchy signed. But Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s DP prime minister, said in a statement: “The Grand Duchy aims to participate with other nations in all relevant fora in order to agree on a mutually beneficial international framework.”