Luxembourg will make an initial investment of 200 million euros ($227 million) to become the “Silicon Valley of space resources” under an initiative that will primarily benefit two American asteroid mining companies.
The investment will fund asteroid survey missions by Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources that will be launched within three years, government officials said at a press conference on Friday. Luxembourg will also fund research and development into technologies needed to identify, extract and process minerals, water and other materials.
The two companies have agreed to set up operations in the European tax haven. Deep Space Industries has signed an agreement with the Luxembourg government to work together, officials said. A similar agreement with Planetary Resources is in the works.
In addition to funding space missions and R&D, Luxembourg is considering making direct capital investments to become shareholders in the two companies, Vice Prime Minister Étienne Schneider told journalists.