Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

For the first time a country has invested heavily in space mining

RATE THIS! +44
Posted in Science on 4th Jun, 2016 08:20 PM by AlexMuller

Luxembourg has already reached agreements with two US-based companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, to open offices in Luxembourg and conduct major research and development activities. "We intend to become the European center for asteroid mining".

 
The mining of space resources is a long bet. Although some deep-pocketed investors from Google and other companies have gotten behind Planetary Resources, and people like Amazon's Jeff Bezos have speculated that within a couple of decades most manufacturing and resource gathering will be done off Earth, there is precious little activity today. Humans have never visited an asteroid, and NASA is only just planning to launch its first robotic mission to visit and gather samples from an asteroid, OSIRIS-REx, this summer.
 
Nevertheless, no one doubts that outer space is overflowing with resources. Asteroids are packed with precious metals, 24-hour solar power from the Sun could be beamed back to Earth, and the reservoirs of water on the moon, asteroids, and beyond could be used for fuel, farming, drinking, and shielding us from radiation. Humans on Earth could theoretically live very comfortably on space resources without ever mining our home planet again.
 
The question is whether obtaining such resources could be made economical any time soon. Luxembourg intends to find out. Like the United States did last fall with its Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, Luxembourg plans to rewrite its laws so that private companies are entitled to the resources they mine from asteroids, but not entitled to own the asteroids themselves. "We will become the first European country to set out its own legal framework," Schneider said.
 
The country may also do more than just offer companies a line of private credit. Luxembourg may invest in those companies itself, just like it invested in SES, which is now one of the world's largest satellite companies. Back in the mid-1980s when Luxembourg first invested in SES, there was a similar amount of skepticism about the satellite industry, Schneider said. People wondered if they were in danger of satellites falling out of the sky on them.
 
Pete Worden, the former director of NASA's Ames Research Center, is advising Luxembourg on this initiative. NASA is interested in going to Mars, and Europe is interested in lunar exploration, Dr. Worden said. But it is inefficient for any space agency to launch all of the resources it needs for extended space missions from Earth and potentially much less expensive to pick up supplies once in space. This could allow for the use of smaller, less expensive rockets. Worden envisions a time when NASA contracts with space miners to purchase quantities of water and other materials needed to further their exploration.
 
"I believe the future lies in a robust space economy that is driven by commercial interests," Worden said during the news conference. "The interesting thing is that we’re seeing a situation here where space agencies globally are moving from doing these things themselves. Just as NASA is contracting with launch companies, what we hope here is that the resources one needs to explore space can be purchased from these entrepreneurs."
 
The two companies mentioned on Friday, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, are moving forward with plans to test asteroid mining techniques, both on the ground and then in space. Luxembourgian officials said Friday they believed that one or both of these companies could launch missions to survey potential asteroid mining targets within three years.

Tags: spaceasteroidasteroid miningbusinesscommercial space

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-06-05
+1
The mining of space resources is a long bet and there is precious little activity today. It is great to see some renewed enthusiasm!
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-06-05
+0
Yes, in particular because no one doubts that outer space is overflowing with resources- asteroids are packed with precious metals Reply
Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-11-18 21:15:58
    Companies are realising that renewable energy is good for.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-18 21:07:25
    California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020; 10.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 18:02:34
    Tesla unveils a truck and a roadster..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-11-17 17:47:38
    SpaceX expects government support for development of BFR.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-11-17 13:59:11
    Gene therapy infused into persons blood to correct liver.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me