Luxembourg's Bold Plan to Mine Asteroids for Rare Minerals

Wired | 8/29/2019 | Staff
gemini2323 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://media.wired.com/photos/5d6547ffec9a9600081debb7/master/w_1280,c_limit/photo_neos_12.jpg

In 2016 the tiny European country of Luxembourg announced an ambitious initiative to mine asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) for rare minerals. It wasn’t the country’s first foray into space—in the 1980s it launched some of the first European satellites—but the NEO mining plan represented a bold step for a country with the population of Milwaukee. The idea had roots in Luxembourg history: Blessed with rich deposits of iron ore, the country's economy was powered for much of the 20th century by steel manufacturing. By the time the last iron mine closed in 1981, Luxembourg had already pivoted to financial services, which now accounts for 35 percent of its GDP, but since the 2008 financial crisis the country's leaders have been looking to diversify the economy.

Italian photographer Ezio D'Agostino first learned about the NEO mining plan during an artist residency at Luxembourg's Centre National de l'Audiovisuel (CNA). "I was interested in understanding why such a small country without a space agency like Luxembourg would be interested in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Wired
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