Luxembourg’s Bold Move into Space Mining

ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA - ScienceOffice.org)
ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA – ScienceOffice.org)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Luxembourg’s announcement of its space resources initiative provides three things that companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries (DSI) need to make their dreams of mining asteroids a reality.

Legal Recognition. The United States is alone in the world in recognizing space property rights. There is some dispute over whether the law violates the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
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Deep Space Industries Praises Luxembourg Space Resources Mining Initiative

dsi_logoMOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI) congratulates Luxembourg’s Economic Ministry on their announcement today that they will be actively pursuing space resource utilization. Spaceresources.lu is a government-sponsored initiative, planning the exploration, use, and commercialization of valuable minerals and other resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), like asteroids. Luxembourg’s Spaceresources.lu initiative – to be conducted in cooperation with commercial partners – is destined to facilitate and support the creation of an entire new space industry.

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Luxembourg Launches Space Resources Mining Initiative

Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)
Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)

LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Luxembourg Government announced a series of measures to position Luxembourg as a European hub in the exploration and use of space resources. Amongst the key steps undertaken, as part of the spaceresources.lu initiative, will be the development of a legal and regulatory framework confirming certainty about the future ownership of minerals extracted in space from Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) such as asteroids.

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Virgin Galactic: Marketing for the Earth?

Taylor Dinerman has an interesting op-ed over at The Space Review about Virgin Galactic’s efforts to sell themselves as a green company. Dinerman believes this is more marketing hype than reality at the moment, but that the long-term exploitation of space resources will be the key to solving many of Earth’s environmental problems and lifting billions out of poverty.