This one fascinated me because it contains so much fertile ground for some really high octane speculation about a possible pattern that might be revealing itself(and I want to thank Mr. M.H. and many others for bringing this significant story to my attention)
Luxembourg Aims to Jump-Start Asteroid Mining
For me, the hints of a possible "future pattern" for space commercialization are to be found in the first five paragraphs:
The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.
The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.
Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation's economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.
Luxembourg is home to satellite fleet operator SES, whose ascension from outsider-startup status in the 1980s to today's place as one of the two largest commercial fleet operators by revenue Schneider cited an example of what is possible when Luxembourg sets its mind to something.
SES in the past three years has been the biggest commercial backer of SpaceX, whose stated corporate mission is the establishment of a human colony on Mars. Schneider said extracting water from asteroids to create fuel for deep-space missions is one application of space mining.
Luxembourg has long been one of those centers of banking that is, well, "lax," and has been one of those centers for corporations to go where the regulatory oversight by government is minimal, and this is at the center of my high octane speculations today.
Over the past few years, as we have been tracking this asteroid mining/space commercialization meme on this site, and as other sites have been following the same story, a number of points have emerged: (1) the USA has been driving this move toward space commercialization, and with its typical "unipolar" attitude, as the American Congress just recently passed a space mining and commercialization bill, without any regard for existing international treaty stipulations. If one reads through the maze of academic articles trying to spin this away, what the American act essentially did was to define away the spirit of those treaties while adhering ostensibly to their letter. Other nations, of course, have also indicated their intentions to join the new "space race." Additionally, (2) this website has maintained consistently the idea that Mr. Richard Dolan's idea of a "breakaway civilization" is probably true, i.e., a deep infrastructure of a black projects world which through the decades of enormous financing, may have perfected technologies well in advance, perhaps even by a century, of the technologies publicly available. This deep state structure, let it be noted, is largely composed of very large corporations with international extent.
Enter Luxembourg, with its new drive to offer its unique banking and investment environment to the endeavor.
I suspect that what we are looking at is the beginning of a pattern, or at least, the first announcement of something probably well underway, namely, that the coming space commercial age will have its financial hubs located precisely in such countries and tax havens, Luzembourg, Jersey, and so on. All one really needs is a public hub for an interface between that black projects corporate world and the emerging world of space commercialization. But to continue the cloak of secrecy surrounding both, one needs places like Luxembourg. International cooperation will emerge in the form of corporate agreements, and here too, Luxembourg seems intent to light the way.
If this high octane speculation is true, then we can expect that similar centers of space-finance activity will emerge in other similar countries and sites, Taiwan, the channel islands, Andorra! The regulatory climate, and the traditions of discretion and secrecy almost assure it.
Why am I emphasizing this so much? Because as I've also pointed out many times, the commercialization of space almost completely guarantees its weaponization to secure the "shipping lanes" from potential enemies - whoever those may be and wherever they may be from. One convenient way to minimize potential conflicts on earth being extended into space, is to create an international "security force" from private contributing corporate interests.
That, I think, is what makes this story so very signigicant: we are being given a glimpse into the pattern of the future.
Expect more of the same to come, if this reading is anywhere close to the truth.
See you on the flip side...