A partnership between Deep Space Industries (DSI) and Luxembourg has been created to develop space mining technology.
The international mission, known as Prospect-X, is an agreement to explore, use, and commercialise space resources and builds upon Luxembourg’s earlier space mining initiative to become a technology hub for the fledgling industry.
“The Luxembourg Government will work with Deep Space Industries to co-fund relevant R&D projects that help further develop the technology needed to mine asteroids and build a supply chain of valuable resources in space,” Deep Space Industries said.
“We have been impressed by Luxembourg’s tangible actions to lead the creation of an asteroid resource economy,” Daniel Faber, CEO of Deep Space Industries explained.
“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.”
Luxembourg’s deputy prime minister Stephen Schneider added, “Our promising co-operation with DSI as part of the initiative spaceresources.lu clearly demonstrates the strong commitment of the Luxembourg Government to support the exploration and future use of space resources.”
“Separate negotiations to formalise our collaboration with other companies operating in this area is ongoing. Our goal is to attract space research activities and technological capabilities in Luxembourg. Our country has hosted a constantly expanding space sector and these efforts are part of its policy of diversification of the national economy.”
The major project of this new partnership will focus on an experimental, low Earth orbit technology demonstration mission.
“The demonstrator vessel of this technology, dubbed “ProspectorX” ( “X” referring to “experimental”), will be built and tested in both the United States and Luxembourg. In this project, a nano-ship will be used to test several key enabling technologies for the first asteroid prospecting mission of DSI, ‘Prospector-1’. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust 2 (SnT) within the University of Luxembourg will be one of DSI partners in the project ‘Prospector-X’,” Luxembourg’s ministry of economy added.
Space mining is increasingly coming under the spotlight as new technology ramps up the sector’s viability to tap into near earth asteroids that contain enormous deposits of metals and water.