Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the banking institution Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI). This partnership with Luxembourg’s SpaceResources.lu initiative will advance technologies and lines of business toward the exploration and utilization of resources from asteroids. Just as Luxembourg accelerated the satellite communications industry through its investments, this funding for Planetary Resources Luxembourg will accelerate the space resources industry.
With the agreement, the Government of Luxembourg is considering a direct capital investment in Planetary Resources Luxembourg. This public equity position will be taken by the SNCI to become a minority shareholder. Planetary Resources Luxembourg plans to conduct key research and development activities. The pathway for identifying the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids has led to the development of multiple transformative technologies that are applicable to global markets, including the agriculture, oil & gas, water quality and financial intelligence industries. The company’s Earth observation business, Ceres, will generate revenue and intellectual property in Europe and around the world which will further develop the technologies and services required for asteroid prospecting missions.
“We are delighted to begin working with Luxembourg to develop ground-breaking space technologies and services. Luxembourg has a proud history and global reputation in commercial space operations and we are honored to be working with their government, academia, and industry to further develop the limitless potential that awaits in the space resources industry,” said Chris Lewicki, President and CEO, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Government of Luxembourg, said, “We are excited to welcome Planetary Resources, an industry leader, to work in Luxembourg and we look forward to a prosperous future together. The Grand Duchy offers an attractive overall framework for space resource utilization related activities, including but not limited to the legal and regulatory regime. Planetary Resources and its team bring in a wealth of knowledge and experience and will join the existing space sector in Luxembourg. By starting to put all this together, we will make the SpaceResources.lu initiative a success.”
This partnership will serve to advance and build upon Planetary Resources’ substantial accomplishments. Core hardware and software technologies developed at Planetary Resources were tested last year when the Arkyd-3R satellite was deployed from the International Space Station. The company has completed its next spacecraft, the Arkyd-6, scheduled for launch later this year. This mission will validate the thermographic sensor that will precisely measure temperature differences of objects on Earth, and when deployed on future asteroid missions it will acquire key data related to the presence of water and water-bearing minerals on asteroids.
About Planetary Resources, Inc.
Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Chris Lewicki. The company’s vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence. The pathway in identifying the most commercially viable near-Earth water-rich asteroids has led to the development of multiple transformative technologies that are applicable to global markets, including the agriculture, oil & gas, mining and insurance industries.
Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries who are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so humanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come. Some of the company’s partners and advisors include 3D Systems, the Bechtel Corporation and Analytical Graphics Incorporated; Sara Seager, Ph.D., professor of Planetary Science & Physics at MIT and TED fellow; Dante Lauretta, Ph.D., professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona and principal investigator of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission; Anatoly Gitelson, Ph.D., Emeritus Remote Sensing Specialist, University of Nebraska’s School of Natural Resources, now with Israel Institute of Technology, Technion; and Susan Ustin, Ph.D., professor of Environmental and Resources Sciences, University of California, Davis. Members of the company’s technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, and include other key non-aerospace and safety-critical disciplines. For more information, please visit www.planetaryresources.com.