The Luxembourg Government, the public-law banking institution “Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement” (SNCI) and the Silicon Valley-based asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries (DSI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting out their cooperation within the recently announced Luxembourg spaceresources.lu initiative. The initiative defines a framework for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids.
Within this partnership, DSI, Inc. USA and Luxembourg-based DSI Europe will build economic and technological substance by developing advanced products, systems and services focused on the utilization of asteroid resources. For its part, the Luxembourg Government will provide funding for relevant R&D in this field. The funding will be sourced from the Luxembourg space programme (LuxIMPULSE), the national R&D support programme as well as from financing instruments of the SNCI.
Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, stated: “Our promising cooperation with DSI within the spaceresources.lu initiative demonstrates the strong commitment of the Luxembourg Government to support the exploration and future commercial use of space resources. Separate negotiations to formalize our relationship with other companies active in this field are underway. Our aim is to attract space research activities and technological capabilities to Luxembourg, which is home to an increasingly important space sector as part of our continuous efforts to diversify and grow our economy.”
The MoU paves the way to building and operating a risk-reduction technology demonstration mission for small spacecraft asteroid exploration. This demonstrator spacecraft, “Prospector-X” (“X” for “experimental”), will be built and tested both in the United States and in Luxembourg. In this project, a nano-spacecraft will be used to test several key enabling technologies for DSI’s first asteroid prospecting mission, Prospector-1. In designing the “ProspectorX” project, the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) will be one of DSI’s partners.
“Deep Space believes that the people of Earth must work together to open the resources of space for all,” said Rick Tumlinson, Chairman of Deep Space Industries Inc. “The best way for this to happen is for enlightened governments and private entities to partner in new ways, using the power of enterprise and innovation, with each doing what they do best. We are pleased to be part of the Luxembourg community and working with its world-class institutions to accomplish the goals of harvesting space resources and advancing the state of space technology. Luxembourg, as it has done before in finance and other space technologies, has leapt to the forefront of this newest frontier, and we are proud to link arms with them and head out into the future.”
Released by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy
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