Luxembourg to legalize the extraction of resources on asteroids. Despite the fact that the law will operate only on the territory of the country, in contrast to similar US initiatives it will also apply to foreign companies that have an office in the Grand Duchy. In addition, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, the government plans to invest in research in this area is about 200 million euros.
The new legislation will guarantee the right of companies developing near-Earth objects on mined resources in accordance with international law. The government will issue licenses and monitor the activities of miners in accordance with the Treaty on the 1967 Outer Space. The latter defines the scope of space law, in particular, according to him, the space can not belong to any country.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the law will be developed in collaboration with experts in the field of international space law. It will form the basis of research at the University of Luxembourg, dedicated to the production of space resources. That comprehensive legislation is expected to come into force in 2017.
Asteroids are divided into several classes according to their spectral characteristics, and therefore in composition. The most common celestial bodies of the classes C, S and M – carbon, silicon and iron. It is interesting to note that the reserves of iron-nickel ore in the largest of the known asteroids M-Class, Psyche, would be enough for it to cover the needs of humanity in the next few million years. Among the resources of interest for the extraction include water (in the nuclei of comets), gases and metals of the platinum group.
The plans for the extraction of valuable resources in near-Earth objects, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, said in February 2016. The Ministry of Economy invites you to join the initiative of two American companies represented in the Duchy – Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. Both companies are developing technologies related to space exploration and production. At the end of 2015, a similar law adopted in the United States. However, it guarantees the right to the resources extracted in space only to US citizens.
In May, the Government of Luxembourg has signed a memorandum with the Deep Space Industries in which it is planned to develop and launch into orbit a spacecraft Prospector-X. probe task is to test technologies needed for the extraction of resources in space. Subsequently, the company developed and launched to an asteroid Prospector-1 device that will transmit information to Earth about the possibility of extraction of resources on it.