After announcing on February 3, 2016, by Vice Prime Minister of Luxembourg Etienne Schneider, that Luxembourg is going to change their law to promote space mining and exploration, it was clear that Government would like to participate with commercial companies under public-private partnership. After four months later we can see that authorities of Luxembourg are highly determined to establish in their country center of the space commercial exploration in Europe.
On Friday, June 3, 2016, it was announced that authorities of Luxembourg set $223 million to special fund which will support initiatives and projects helpful in space mining. It is quite historical moment for Europe – after changing law on space exploration and mining for more commercial friendly in USA on November 2015, Luxembourg became first country in European Union which does the same. It should not be surprising that Luxembourg would like to actively participate in space mining ventures and this is not possible without commercial companies. To make first steps in commercial space resources exploration easier and create impression that authorities are seriously interested in public-private partnership Etienne Schneider, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, assured on press conference:
“We have a first budget to get started but if we need more money, we will be able to provide it,”
It is clear that Government understands how important is research and development in space industry – potential partners like Deep Space Industries, SpaceX and Planetary Resources mentioned on February by Etienne Schneider surely would like to participate in R&D fund and start cooperation with Luxembourg under such conditions.
Initiative by Luxembourg government should be considered as new chance for economy and increasing technology potential. In future Etienne Schneider would like to see Luxembourg as one of the key countries in world’s space industry:
“Luxembourg’s aims is to be in the top 10 space faring nations in the world,”
Since February, when Luxembourg government announced that is able to reimburse up to 45% costs of future investments in space mining, it is next step in presenting attractive financial offer for potential investors. With $223 million, friendly law and own space industry like SES, Luxembourg is probably one of the most interesting place in Europe for potential investors.
On picture above: Artist’s vision of space mining mission.