Deep Space Industries, the Luxembourg Government and the national banking institution Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI) have signed an agreement to develop technology for mining on asteroids.

The parties are set to cooperate in the initiative to explore, use and marketing of near-Earth objects (NEOs) such as asteroids.

The low-Earth orbit technology demonstration mission, known as Prospect-X, is an agreement to explore, use and commercialise space resources.

Prospector-X has been designed to test the mining company’s deepspace technology.

Deep Space Industries will build the Prospector-X spacecraft at its new European headquarters in Luxembourg with its international and American partners, including the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg.

"Luxembourg has leapt to the forefront of this newest frontier."

By working with the mining company, the Luxembourg Government will co-fund relevant R&D projects to help further develop the technology required.

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Co-funding will use financing means of the SNCI and would be implemented under the Luxembourg space programme, LuxIMPULSE, and the national R&D support programme.

Deep Space Industries CEO Daniel Faber said: "The opportunity to partner with Luxembourg on Prospector-X allows a number of the key technologies for cost-effective deep space operations to be rapidly flight-tested in advance of more complex missions."

Deep Space Industries chairman Rick Tumlinson said: "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."

In February, the Luxembourg Government announced plans to create a legal framework for asteroid mining to explore and extract space resources.

The announcement came after US President Barack Obama signed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law in November 2015, which allowed private companies in the country to exploit materials found in space.