Space: Luxembourg’s government has set its sights on asteroids.
The Grand Duchy is building a “framework” for the mining of mineral-rich asteroids. The move will boost the country’s space and satellite sectors, the government has announced, by giving “certainty about the future ownership of minerals extracted in space from near earth objects”.
Étienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s deputy prime minister and economy minister, launched the initiative, called SpaceResources.lu, during a press conference in the capital. In a statement he said: “Our aim is to open access to a wealth of previously unexplored mineral resources on lifeless rocks hurling through space, without damaging natural habitats.”
According to the economy ministry, Luxembourg is the first European country developing rules for private space mining operators, and the framework will be drafted in lines with international law.
The news was first reported by the Financial Times Tuesday night and confirmed by Paperjam (in French) several hours before the press conference has held on Wednesday morning.
In 2012 one US celestial mining outfit told Space.com that asteroid 2012 DA14 could potentially be worth nearly $200bn in recoverable water and minerals.