The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is famous for its banking. It’s also famous for being tiny. That’s about it.
But that might change soon, as Luxembourg unveils its ambitions for the budding industry of asteroid mining. Yes, you read that correctly, asteroid mining. Here at Placesbrands, we’d never even heard of this kind of work until now.
Apparently, there is a whole lot of mineral wealth inside those random pieces of rock that orbit our solar system. Mining them could enable us to access greater amounts of important resources without damaging the Earth’s existing landscape.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider said: “Our aim is to open access to a wealth of previously unexplored mineral resources on lifeless rocks hurling through space, without damaging natural habitats.”
“We will support the long-term economic development of new, innovative activities in the space and satellite industries as a key high-tech sector for Luxembourg.”
The tiny state rarely attracts media attention. But now it plans to invest significant amounts of money in new research and innovation to develop its capabilities in asteroid mining. According to Vice News, Luxembourg will also spend time creating a legal framework to be used by companies that want to conduct business activities ‘beyond the confines of the planet’. That phrase itself is rather thrilling, isn’t it?
Luxembourg might seem an unusual contender for this kind of ambitious venture. But despite its small population and surface area, what the general public may not know is that the country hosts two major commercial satellite companies. It’s the real deal; the expertise is already present. But until now, it hasn’t been communicated widely.
This announcement could herald the beginning of a whole new era. If Luxembourg continues to promote its strategy in this area, the little duchy could soon find itself becoming synonymous with asteroid mining and pioneering the idea of doing business outside the very confines of Earth itself. Having a unique selling point is a great benefit in building a strong national identity. What could be more unique than this?
When building a reputation there’s no substitute for actually doing the thing you want to become known for. This applies not just to places, but also to people and companies. If Luxembourg keeps doing what it’s doing; and doing it well, its national reputation will soon grow and change.
Weaving the space exploration theme into some compelling stories wouldn’t hurt either. Fortunately, outer space has always captured our imaginations, so it should be an easy goal to achieve.