Luxembourg digs deep for asteroid mining project

Luxembourg’s Government has invested 25 million euros in asteroid-mining firm Planetary Resources Inc, making it a key shareholder.

The investment was made via public-law banking institution “Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement” (SNCI) and was agreed as part of Luxembourg’s initiative to mine resources from near earth objects such as asteroids.

The funds will be used to further the firm’s technical advancements so that it can launch the first commercial asteroid prospecting mission by 2020.

This partnership follows a memorandum of understanding signed this past June to develop in Luxembourg activities related to space resource utilization. In May 2016, Planetary Resources, Inc. established a wholly-owned Luxembourg based subsidiary named Planetary Resources Luxembourg.

The public equity position is taken by the SNCI to become a minority shareholder and Georges Schmit, Government’s Advisory Board member of the initiative, joins Planetary Resources’ Board of Directors.

Prior to his current position, Georges Schmit was Consul General and Executive Director at the Luxembourg Trade & Investment Office in San Francisco, after being Director General for Enterprise Policy, Economic Development and Foreign Trade, Secretary General, and Director of Industry at the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade which he joined in 1981. From 1995-2002 he was Executive Chairman of the SNCI.

Planetary Resources, for its part, is strengthening the local space industry by developing several key activities exclusively in Luxembourg focused on propulsion development, spacecraft launch integration, deep space communications, asteroid science systems, Earth observation product development and mission operations.