The Isle of Man: First in Space?
Among the surprises: the CVI company that made the laser optics with which NASAâ€™s Phoenix Lander (below) spotted snow on Mars last year. Another Manx company, Odyssey Moon, is competing to win the $30 million (Â£18.4 million).
Google Lunar X prize by putting a robotic landing craft on the Moon. A third, Excalibur Almaz, is developing space tourism. — each attracted to the island by a special Manx tax provision that imposes zero income tax for space industrialization.
“Later this month the Isle of Man will officially join the space race. Nicole Stott, (left) wife of a Manxman, will begin her four months on the International Space Station. Ms. Stottâ€™s husband, Chris, a space fanatic working for Lockheed Martin in the late 1990s, persuaded the islandâ€™s government to file for the orbital satellite space slots to which it was entitled.
In 2004 Allan Bell, the Treasury Minister, needed a headline announcement for his budget and declared a zero corporate tax rate for space activities. The response, he says, was “quite amazing”.
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