Luxembourg prepping for asteroid miners.

BBC has more on the Grand Duchy’s grand plans for exploiting the mineral wealth of outer space:

Former European Space Agency boss Jean-Jacques Dordain… told reporters on Wednesday that space mining was no longer science fiction in the pages of a Jules Verne novel; that the basic technologies – of landing and returning materials from asteroids – had essentially been proven.

And he urged European entrepreneurs to follow the example of start-up American companies that had already begun to consider how they could exploit the expensive metals, rare elements and other valuable resources in space bodies.

“Things are moving in the United States and it was high time there was an initiative in Europe, and I am glad the first initiative is coming from Luxembourg,” he said. “It will give no excuse for European investors to go to California.”

Although a small nation, Luxembourg has a prominent position in space activity.

It is the headquarters of SES, the world’s largest commercial satellite telecommunications company, which relays thousands of TV stations around the world. Intelsat, the second biggest company by revenue, also has offices in the country.

Luxembourg now wants to become a hub for European space mining companies as well.

It too will pass legislation so that these firms have confidence in their rights to extract resources.