The Luxembourg government adopted a draft law on Friday, November 11, looking to give private operators working in space guarantees that they can be confident about their rights to the resources they extract in outer space.
While real space mining
activities are yet to be realised, Luxembourg
tries to give the legal and regulatory framework ahead of time in
accordance with international law.
Private companies should expect legal certainty as to the ownership of minerals, water and other space resources identified on Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids.
Minister of Economy
Schneider stated at a press conference: “The legal framework we put in place is perfectly
in line with the Outer Space Treaty.
"Our law does not suggest to either establish or imply in any way sovereignty over a territory or over a celestial body. Only the appropriation of space resources is addressed in the legal framework.”
The government is expecting for the law to enter into effect in early 2017.
Luxembourg is eager to have a clear legal framework internationally and is therefore advocating for international cooperation in order to progress on a future governance scheme and a global regulatory framework of space resources utilisation.
According to Minister
Schneider, negotiations are underway to formalise relationships with
around 20 companies and entrepreneurs both from inside and
outside of Europe.
In this context, the government is looking to lay down the regulations for the authorisation and the supervision of space resources utilisation missions, including both the exploration and use of such resources.