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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday February 06 2016, @06:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the we-will-convert-your-wealth-to-earth-dollars dept.

Luxembourg has announced that it will invest in the fledgling asteroid mining industry:

The government of Luxembourg announced Wednesday that the country will be investing in the as-yet-unrealized industry of asteroid mining. The tiny European country will be funding research into the extraction of minerals from objects in space, working on legal and regulatory frameworks to govern such activities and, potentially, directly investing in companies active in the field. The nation's ministry of the economy says in a statement that the measures are meant "to position Luxembourg as a European hub in the exploration and use of space resources."

It's a futuristic move, but not a wholly startling one. Luxembourg is already home to SES, a satellite operator, and has previously moved to boost its international high-tech profile.

[...] Luxembourg hopes to address [the legality of space mining] too, with a formal legal framework of its own — possibly constructed with international input — to ensure that those who harvest minerals can be confident that they'll own what they bring home. "The aim is to stimulate economic growth on Earth and offer new horizons in space exploration," Luxembourg's ministry of the economy writes.

TechCrunch reports:

This announcement comes shortly after the United States took a huge step forward in making commercial space mining legal. President Obama signed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) in November, which stated that U.S. companies are entitled to maintain property rights of resources they've obtained from outer space. [...] CSLCA explicitly outlined private sector rights which were only implicitly stated in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which is the prevailing international law on these matters. Now that CSLCA has been passed in the U.S., it reduces regulatory risk for domestic companies investing millions of dollars into the technology required to properly mine space resources. With today's announcement Luxembourg is on its way to become the second country to lay the groundwork required to make space mining a reality.

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  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Sunday February 07 2016, @03:39AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Sunday February 07 2016, @03:39AM (#300029)

    Back to bringing the precious metals down, it looks, well, stupid.

    why would it be stupid to bring back asteroids with large amounts of copper, aluminum, gold, silver, tantalum, etc? we use these metals for things we make which currently we are ripping the planet apart just to get.

    They are much safer up there and could be used for say a hard base for a monetary system.

    now that's retarded because you aren't even using the material. you might as well just have a fiat currency than elements in space that you cannot claim. besides, the solar system has lots of asteroids with elemental deposits. why would you base a currency on something that could instantly be worth half as much as the day before?

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  • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday February 07 2016, @04:52AM

    by legont (4179) on Sunday February 07 2016, @04:52AM (#300054)

    Because all that materials are worth more in space. But even if not, bringing down industrial commodities such as copper or aluminium will cost more than getting them on earth. For the "precious", we don't need that much except for monetary reasons. Regardless, it'll be much cheaper and environmentally friendly to produce from them whatever in space. I do realize that laws could be adopted that would make bringing stuff down more attractive, but that is evil (as opposed to plain stupid it looks like now). That's why it is interesting to think about when a rock in space becomes a property. Just claiming one seems not smart. Even if raw commodities are taken out it is not smart. If an iphone is manufactured from them in space, I'd say it is a property. We need to define a border between those two extremes. Grabbing raw commodities is asking for trouble.

    I agree with you about monetary commodities being potentially galore in space. I just suspect they assume companies want to get rich by bringing gold down, which is not smart at all regardless of availability.

    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Sunday February 07 2016, @10:18AM

      by Gravis (4596) on Sunday February 07 2016, @10:18AM (#300139)

      bringing down industrial commodities such as copper or aluminium will cost more than getting them on earth.

      1. if we had a clean source of large amounts of Rare Earth Elements with minimal amounts of human intervention, it would cost much less in the same way that farming costs less because one farmer can be 20000x more effective than a farmer from 150 years ago.
      2. we are ruining the ecosystem just getting REEs, so cost is relative. people are murdered and maimed in countries for the rights to mine things like tantalum, so cost is relative.
      3. this could be a stepping stone toward having a post-scarcity economy. all the land and resources on Earth have been claimed by the greedy and power hungry, so the ability to be self-sufficient without empowering assholes is extremely valuable, especially in the long run.

      I just suspect they assume companies want to get rich by bringing gold down

      fuck those retards. let them waste their time.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Monday February 08 2016, @01:23AM

        by legont (4179) on Monday February 08 2016, @01:23AM (#300388)

        Even assuming you are correct, I am not so sure about scarcity argument either. First of all much of the scarcity seems artificial. Say your example with rare earth. We had this a few years back and a Goldman Sachs darling Molycorp went to $75 a share or so. Sure they own the biggest rare earth mine right between SF and Vegas. []
        Last time I checked it was 4 cents. Perhaps it's too environmentally dirty? Well, they own one of the biggest Soviet mines in Estonia where nobody gives a poo about environment, wages are dirt cheap and it does not look healthy either. [] Perhaps we want to fix that before we start bringing more down. Just a thought.

        Lets take another hypothetical example. Say we find a way to cheaply import hydrocarbons from Titan. This would enable us to prolong oil epoch perhaps indefinitely. Do we really want it? The only solution would be to prohibit some imports and allow for others, but with cheap gas? Forgetaboutit.
        That's another reason it'd be much better to basically say - nothing down from space - build over there. And it probably does not even need a prohibition - we just should not subsidize bringing raw materials from space. Subsidizing manufacturing up there would be nice though. And we should start with right laws. Not that I like or even respect them, but because we work like that for now)

        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Monday February 08 2016, @02:20PM

          by Gravis (4596) on Monday February 08 2016, @02:20PM (#300595)

          I am not so sure about scarcity argument

          the only time i mentioned scarcity was when i was talking about a post-scarcity economy.

          Post-scarcity is a theoretical economy in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely.

          right now, a lot of human labor goes into mining, the environment gets trashed in the process and people are exploited to boot. if asteroid mining can get the material without any of that, why would you object?