Luxembourg’s New Law Gives A Boost To Space-Mining
Up until now, only the US space-mining companies have been allowed to keep their hauls after their expeditions. Luxembourg has decided it is about time for European countries to be able to do the same.
So it has drafted a law which states that the space companies, particularly private ones may now be allowed to keep whatever they take from other planets and asteroids. This law is under the condition that the companies should have legal authorization for their missions and should also obey the international law.
The Benefits Of This Law
The law is set to take effect in early 2017. It does not guarantee that everyone would lay claim on the space entities, but when things arrive on ground, there will be no arguments on who gets to keep it. Basically, you do not get to claim the planets or asteroids, but get to keep the souvenirs mined from there.
Luxembourg is aiming to become the space hub for all the European countries. It aims to attract the corporate crowd to enhance the business opportunities across the continent. It has already invested $28 million dollars (€25 million) in US-based space company, Planetary Resources. It now aims to negotiate with other major companies like Deep Space.
Most European companies do not have that kind of legal protection and they might not have to anymore, after Luxembourg acts as their primary space hub. As a part of the deal, Planetary Resources is setting up shop in Europe now within Luxembourg’s borders. It will conduct the key research and development activities in support of its commercial asteroid prospecting capabilities. They will also support international business activities.
Deep Space will be conducting missions regarding water and mineral prospects in outer planets. Both companies are currently developing the Prospector-X, a small and experimental spacecraft that test technologies for prospecting and mining in near-Earth asteroids after 2020.
Luxembourg will eventually make profit out of all these corporate space companies, partly because the companies would need to infuse some cash in for operating from there. But it will take some time before this proves to be fruitful since most of the space-mining activities will not take place any earlier than 2020.