As the new space race accelerates, many executives from technology companies have sold Mars as the fate of humanity outside the Earth.
But maybe they look too far away. Our most direct opportunity to live on the planet is much closer, following a path that is likely to be opened by far less well-known companies.
Building colonies on the moon will provide us with a starting point for Mars, says a scientist
It is very likely that men and women will find these settlements in the moon rán employees will be from small mining companies, not billionaires from the technology sector .
Many of these companies are linked to a small nation of the European Union: the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
It is surprising that NASA believes these lunar colonies can be established in the next four years.
Takeshi Hakamada is one of those who are out to return to the place where mankind has placed a foot.
This time however is available per med. a much more commercial dream. io: explore the valuable minerals and gaseous sources of the Moon as well as their water sources, able to support life there.
Hakamada is the director of ispace a private space exploration company based in Tokyo, which also has offices in Luxembourg. It plans to complete a lunar orbit in 2020 and then make a landing in 2021.
"Our first two missions will serve as a demonstration of We will start setting up a high-frequency transport service to bring the taxes of customers to the L a ," he says.
we have found water sources on the moon, we can develop a new industry of sources (minerals) in space, "he adds.
Finding a frozen water basin would be monumental, leaving people outside the earth
A handful of competitors
Hakamada is not even at a distance only in his cosmic ambitions.
At present there are 10 mining companies (including ISPAC ) legally established in Luxembourg since the enforcement in that country of the law on spacecraft in February 2016. This was driven by a fund worth US $ 223 million.
The entry of Luxembourg in 2016 in the race for space assets had the effect of attracting large US companies to that sector, including Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources where the latter an American company supported by Sir Richard Branson and Google co-founder Larry Page
Planetary Resource s, one of the first companies in the mining sector, sold a stake of some US $ 28 million to the Grand Duchy. The exact amount has never been disclosed, but the management of the company recognizes that Luxembourg is one of the most important investors.
The Law of Luxembourg space resources opened the locks for a large flow of investment to the point that the Ministry of Economy now states that the aerospace industry 1.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, the highest percentage within the European Union.
Despite investments, mining Spatial is an industry that also emphasizes the existence of ambiguous legal obstacles.
"It is not clear whether international space law gives a country the possibility to grant property rights for the extraction of natural resources in space," says an investigation by the law firm Allen and Overy based in Luxembourg
After the United States approved the first law on mining in 2015, Russia was one of the countries that publicly resisted.
In order to understand the ambiguity of space, one must refer to the Space Treaty (OST, for its abbreviation in English), approved in 1967, an agreement of the era of the Cold War which is the national appropriation of celestial bodies. prohibits. In essence space is treated as a common ground, similar to Antarctica.
Military development in space is extremely limited by the OST which was signed by 105 countries.
In order to implement the recent proposal by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to create a Space Force, Washington would have to withdraw from this agreement, something that would further isolate its country.