Small European country Luxembourg has allotted $223 million in funds for space mining ventures.
On June 3, Luxembourg showcased how determined it is to be on top of all nations in the industry of bringing space materials on Earth.
"We have a first budget to get started but if we need more money, we will be able to provide it," says economy minister Etienne Schneider in a news conference.
Luxembourg's Ambitious Aim
In February, Luxembourg unveiled its plans to become a big player in the space mining industry. In fact, it has announced its plans of building a legal and regulatory framework that will facilitate the ownership issues of space materials in the future.
The country has clearly made known to the world how serious it is to lead space mining, and with a reputation for efficient fund management and private banking industry, it aims to soar higher in the space exploration sector.
Schneider says Luxembourg is looking to be included in the top 10 countries in the world with a prosperous space industry.
The country appears well on its way with its SES, which is among the biggest communication satellites operator in the world.
Schneider recalls the launch of the first satellite back in 1985. During that time, they had big talks about whether people would need such satellites up there or the possibility that they could plunge down into Earth.
Because of the highly ambitious visions of Luxembourg, the country has attracted interests from startup space mining companies in the U.S. such as Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. Both of these firms are even planning to have offices in Luxembourg.
The space mining industry may fully take off soon, with experts saying that a first exploration mission to look for nearby asteroids may occur after three years.
Space mining missions will not only discover and bring back asteroids from space to Earth, but can also contribute to studies about more distant planets by generating fuel for missions set for farther locations.