The Race To Mine Asteroids Gains Int’l Support

The Race To Mine Asteroids Gains International Support

Today, the Luxembourg Government announced that they are taking steps to become Europe’s hub for mining space resources. The small European country plans to establish the necessary legal and regulatory framework and invest in related research and development projects. They’re even considering investing in already-established asteroid mining companies like the U.S. based Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. This announcement comes shortly after the United States took a huge step forward in making commercial space mining legal. President Obama signed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) in November, which stated that U.S. companies are entitled to maintain property rights of resources they’ve obtained from outer space. Asteroid mining concept / Image courtesy of Deep Space Industries The Luxembourg initiative will be advised by Jean-Jacques Dordain, the former Director General of the European Space Agency. In a press conference today , Dordain said, “This initiative is a clear demonstration that Europeans are innovative and able to take risks when the stakes are high. While futuristic, the project is based on solid grounds, i.e. technical prowess that already exists in Europe and around the world.” Mining resources from space isn’t the first initiative the country, with a population of just over half a million people, has pursued in the space industry. SES , a company that owns and operates over 50 geostationary satellites, is also based in Luxembourg. Regulatory Piece of Mind Mining resources in space is not an easy – or cheap – business. CSLCA gave space mining companies piece of mind that they will be able to maintain property rights to resources they extract. CSLCA explicitly outlined private sector rights which were only implicitly stated in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which is the prevailing international law on these matters. Now that CSLCA has been passed in […]