Luxembourg and Japan agree to explore space resources

30 November 2017 (Last Updated November 30th, 2017 14:46)

The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan to explore opportunities for exploration and commercial utilisation of space resources.

The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan to explore opportunities for exploration and commercial utilisation of space resources.

The agreement is in line with the Luxembourg’s SpaceResources.lu initiative, under which commercial companies are allowed to undertake space resource exploration and utilisation related activities.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, the countries will exchange information and expertise on the exploration and commercial utilisation of space resources, as well as enhance further cooperation in the field of space activities.

“After the agreements signed with Portugal and the UAE, this is another important step forward in enhancing international cooperation.”

As part of the information exchange process, the governments will focus on issues, including legal, regulatory, technological, economic, and other aspects of exploration.

Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider said: “After the agreements signed with Portugal and the UAE, this is another important step forward in enhancing international cooperation.

“The agreement is a solid recognition of our SpaceResources.lu initiative, especially as Japan and more precisely JAXA have a strong experience in space missions and have been initiators of the renowned Hayabusa missions to collect samples from an asteroid and return them to Earth.”

In July, the government passed a new draft law legalising exploration and usage of space resources, thereby opening the possibility of mining in outer space.

The government has placated regulatory framework to create an enabling atmosphere for companies to pursue exploration of space resources.