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Space Mining Law Passes In Luxembourg, Takes Effect August 1, 2017

An artist’s conception of asteroid mining. Image courtesy of the National Space Society in the United States.

On July 13, 2017, Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies passed a law, with near unanimity, regarding the exploration and utilisation of space resources. The new law will enter into force on August 1, 2017. Luxembourg is the first European country to have a legal framework recognising the right to space-based resources that they have extracted in compliance with existing international law, most notably the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The passing of the law is a further step in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg’s support for space resources and the nation’s growing prominence as a global hub for the sector. The law advances the progress Luxembourg has made on national and global policy with a foundational national-level legal regime which will support public and private sector space resources initiatives over the coming decades.

“The Government of Luxembourg has taken constructive steps to support the space resources industry with the creation of a positive policy climate for space mining companies including the establishment of the Spaceresources.Lu initiative and the appointment of a Special Envoy for Space Resources, Mr. Georges Schmit, who is also a member of our Board of Directors,” said Chris Lewicki, President and CEO of Planetary Resources. “Luxembourg continues to be a strong partner and a global leader. They are genuinely forward thinking, have a proven record in the satellite industry, and are making their mark on the space mining industry. The passage of this law today is further proof of that.”

Peter Marquez, Acting General Manager of Planetary Resources Luxembourg, said, “Luxembourg’s new space resources law provides Planetary Resources with a strong basis for stability and predictability for our current and future asteroid mining operations. We are appreciative that Luxembourg has taken this critical step towards the long-term sustainability of asteroid mining.”

Ben Baseley-Walker, Senior Director for Global Affairs for Europe, the Middle East and Africa of Planetary Resources, said, “The strategic approach of Luxembourg in developing national policy and law on space mining coupled with their consistent willingness to engage and partner with other countries on the topic, marks them out as a global leader for the space resources sector. We look forward to other States continuing to develop and finalise similar national legislation.”

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Deimos, Phobos and the Moon are three targets of the space mining industry. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ.

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