Luxembourg ties up with ESA. It is a big step for space mining

Visions of building huge mines on objects traversing space slowly cease to be just scenes from popular sci-fi movies and become reality. For not only companies, but also rich countries are interested in space mining.

Luxembourg ties up with ESA. It is a big step for space mining

Visions of building huge mines on objects traversing space are slowly ceasing to be just scenes from popular sci-fi movies and are becoming real. Space mining is not only of interest to companies, but also rich countries that want to get even richer from such ventures.

The pioneer in these matters is currently Luxembourg, which not only already has plans ready to send the first experimental satellite Prospector-X, which would test the technology needed to exploit minerals found in asteroids.

A few days ago, the government of Luxembourg signed a declaration of cooperation with the European Space Agency in the development of technologies needed for missions to acquire and use space resources.

Vision of asteroid exploration with the help of a special probe. DSI photo.

The authorities will allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in the following years to the spaceresources.lu fund, the idea of which is to realize this grand plan. Two companies are involved in the project: Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries. They are the ones who already have plans for the first experimental missions ready.

Interestingly, Polish companies are also involved in this undertaking. ABM Space, Cilium Engineering, Creotech Instruments S.A. and Sybilla Technologies are specialized in space robotics, planetoid observations and space systems integration. A few months ago, they signed an agreement with the EX-PL consortium to implement a number of projects in the area of space mining.

The agreement is a response to Luxemburg’s initiative of supporting the development of this prospective branch. The creation of the consortium coincided with an official visit of Luxembourg delegation to Poland. On 28 March in the Embassy of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Warsaw there was a conference organized under the banner of “Future Space Conference” devoted to the issues of space mining and Polish-Luxembourg cooperation in this field ( ).

Vision of planetoid exploration with the help of a special probe. Photo: DSI.

Let us recall that the treaty established in 1967, by virtue of which the space extending beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is public space (like international waters), everyone is aware of the fact that it means so much that asteroids rich in materials will belong to those who conquer them first.

Luxembourg wants to become the European center of space mining also for purely ecological reasons. The country’s Deputy Prime Minister announced that obtaining valuable metals from rocks hurtling through the Solar System will relieve Mother Nature and make our planet a less polluted place.

NASA has so far catalogued more than 13 thousand objects flying near the Earth, which may become the first targets of exploration. According to the greatest visionaries of the technological world, thanks to space mining we will be able to gain huge funds for expeditions to the Moon, Venus and Mars, as well as the establishment of bases and colonies there.

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