The Luxembourg Government became the first European country to express serious interest in the potentially lucrative business of asteroid mining on Wednesday.
Some have gone so far as to say that asteroid mining could grow to become the world’s first trillion dollar business, but that still remains to be seen.
So far, Luxembourg and the US are the only two countries in the world who have begun to take legal action toward securing property rights for commercial companies who could, one day, collect rare and precious resources from asteroids.
Last November, President Barack Obama signed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act into law, which provides all private US companies the right of ownership over any non-living space resources it can retrieve, be them from asteroids or comets.
While Luxembourg has yet to establish any laws on this point, it’s taking definitive steps toward doing so. On Wednesday, the government announced in statement:
“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.”