Government of Luxembourg decided to acquire even up to 49% of shares of American Planetary Resources space mining company. It is next step in announced recently plans for establishing public-private partnership for developing technologies and starting serious space exploration-space mining on asteroids (Near Earth Objects).
On 13 June it was announced by Planetary Resources, Inc. that company signed Memorandum of Understanding with Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI-Luxembourg public law-bank institution) for further capital investment by SNCI in Planetary Resources Luxembourg, subsidiary of Planetary Resources, Inc. It is direct effect of previous actions of government of Luxembourg and mainly Etienne Schneider Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, with ambitious objective of creating in Luxembourg center of the future space mining industry in Europe. As beginning should be considered law change initiative for creating possibility of establishing in Luxembourg space mining companies. Approving appropriate law was announced in February 2016 along with statement about beginning of the negotiations with several space companies with Planet Resources as one of the main partners in future. Next step was announcing on 3 June 2016 about investing in future development of space mining technologies $223 million from national budget. Now we have official confirmation about starting capital investment in Planetary Resources, Inc. by SNCI. Planetary Resources is satisfied and considers this cooperation as significant moment in development of their company. According to Chris Lewicki, CEO of Planetary Resources:
“We are delighted to begin working with Luxembourg to develop ground-breaking space technologies and services. Luxembourg has a proud history and global reputation in commercial space operations and we are honored to be working with their government, academia, and industry to further develop the limitless potential that awaits in the space resources industry,”
Cooperation with Planetary Resources will also open door for Luxembourg to more conventional space exploration ventures started by Planetary Resources. Company is planning establishing own Earth observation satellite constellation based on own Arkyd 100 satellite bus. After investing $21.1 million in the end of May 2016 Company started program of development which should result with first launched satellite in 2018. Planetary Resources declares that they already signed MoU with Bayer, one of the leaders in healthcare and agricultural research which undertake Bayer to purchasing data gathered by satellites operated by Planetary Resources. It seems that with one investment Luxembourg will bring at least two benefits: short term, with increasing presence in still growing Earth observation satellite market and long term – in future space mining market.