Luxembourg is leading a new space race

As a new space race accelerates, executives at many technology companies use Mars as a destination for humans outside the Earth. But they may look too far. The most direct opportunity for us to survive outside the Earth is much closer to us, and this road is likely to be opened up by companies that are far from known.

Scientists at NASA say that building a colony on the moon will “provide a blueprint for Mars.” Those who will build these settlements on the moon are likely to be employed by small private mining companies rather than technology giants, many of which are linked to the small EU Luxembourg.

Surprisingly, NASA believes that such a lunar colony can be established in the next four years.

Takeda Takeshi is one of those who try to bravely return to where humans have been. However, this time, his mind has a more commercial dream: searching for lucrative mineral and gas resources on the moon, as well as life-sustaining lunar water.

Takeda Takeshi is the CEO of Ispace, a Tokyo-based private space exploration company with operations in Luxembourg. The company plans to complete a lunar orbit in 2020 and then try a soft landing on the moon in 2021.

“Our first two missions will showcase technology. From then on, we will begin to build high-frequency transportation services to bring the customer’s payload to the moon.” He said, “If we can find it on the moon. Water resources can develop a new resource industry in space.” For humans, discovering a frozen water basin will be a landmark moment because it will allow humans to stay longer away from the Earth.

Takeda Takeshi is not the only one who is ambitious to the universe. Since the launch of the Space Resources Act in Luxembourg in February 2016, 10 space mining companies, including Ispace, have been legally registered in Luxembourg. This was the result of a stimulus of $223 million. For these space companies, the moon is one of the two main goals being considered. Commercial venture capital firms are also looking for near-Earth asteroids to mine metal resources. Some experts, including the famous astrophysicist Neil De Grasse Tyson, said that between the moon and about 16,000 near-Earth asteroids, the existing resources may be enough to produce the world’s first trillions. Regal.

After the enactment of the Space Resources Act in Luxembourg in 2016, the current space race has accelerated. This makes it the second country in the world to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the development of resources beyond the Earth, following the United States. “Since February 2016, we have interacted with nearly 200 companies that contact us.” Paul Zenas, representative of the Luxembourg Ministry of Economics, said he is responsible for managing the government’s space resources.

The space frame of Luxembourg is very different from that of the United States. The latter law requires companies to hold more than 50% of US-backed equity, while Luxembourg does not. According to the International Monetary Fund, the affluent Grand Duchy is ranked as the richest country in the world by per capita gross domestic product (GDP), and is also accused by some as tax havens. It does offer a range of tax benefits and benefits, including a very low capital repatriation rate.

Luxembourg joined the space resource competition in 2016, which has an impact on attracting the largest companies in the United States, including Deep Space Industries and Planet Resources. The US-based company is supported by Sir Richard Branson and Google co-founder Larry Page. Planet Resources, the oldest private space industry, sold its $28 million stake to Luxembourg. The specific equity amount has never been disclosed, but the company’s CEO acknowledges that Luxembourg is one of the largest investors.

Luxembourg’s Space Resources Act opened the door for investment, and the space industry accounted for about 1.8% of the country’s GDP, the highest proportion of EU countries.

Despite the investment, the space mining industry has also highlighted vague legal misunderstandings.

A study by Luxembourg’s Allen & Overy International Law Firm found that “it is unclear whether international space law allows a country to grant property rights to natural resources extracted from space.” And the United States approved the world’s first space in 2015. After the mining law, Russia was one of the countries that raised objections.

In order to understand the ambiguity of space, we must trace back to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, a cold-war agreement that prohibited states from possessing celestial bodies. In essence, space is seen as a common land, unlike Antarctica. The Outer Space Treaty, signed by 105 countries, makes military development space extremely limited. In order to realize the space force that President Trump recently spoke about, Washington will have to withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty.

However, the Outer Space Treaty clearly ignores any reference to the ownership of resources, which is an omission in the definition of choice between the United States and Luxembourg. They can’t be the only two, and the UAE has recently signed an agreement to emulate Luxembourg’s legal skills.

Paul Zenas, representative of the Luxembourg Ministry of Economics, said: “Luxembourg’s law on the exploration and use of space resources solves this problem and clarifies this at the national level as the first step in conducting space resource activities. Luxembourg law There is no goal, purpose or effect to pave the way for any country to possess celestial bodies. The issue of ownership of space resources has been resolved at the legal level, and the law also regulates the authorization and supervision of tasks.”

The small size of Luxembourg may help it to dominate the new “space gold rush”. Bill Miller, chief executive of the US-based Deep Space Industries, said: “Like the United States, Luxembourg has proven to be a forward-looking country whose success will enable private companies to perform deep-space missions.”

The debate may not be a hot topic for some time: Deep Space Industries has become accustomed to selling ambitious start-up schedules. But if one day profits begin to roll in the near future, then Luxembourg may be far ahead.