The US and Luxembourg governments have confirmed an agreement by signing it on May 10. The agreement could bring bigger cooperation between the two countries on several space initiatives. During a ceremony, Wilbur Ross the US Commerce Secretary and Étienne Schneider, the Deputy Prime Minister together signed on space cooperation a memorandum of understanding.
The agreement would serve to create a formal dialogue, exchange of information and sharing of expertise between the two countries. It is intended to sustain cooperation on several topics from scientific research and space exploration to space situational awareness and space commerce. Ross said that he doesn’t think that there is much which has been left out of the agreement.
Neither Schneider nor Ross said as to what topics will be first addressed under this agreement, but both have emphasized on their interest in supporting the expansion of space industries in the countries. This was the priority for past several years for Luxembourg that began the initiative SpaceResources.lu in 2016 for attracting startups in field of emerging space resources like asteroid mining companies. From then the initiative has expanded for attracting a variety of ventures of entrepreneurial space which has in turn resulted in the establishment of a fund for investing in space companies and a national space agency. Schneider said that due to the initiative of space resources around 20 companies have planned to join them in Luxembourg and place their headquarters of Europe in Luxembourg.
The industry of space accounts for 2% of the gross domestic product of the country, he said. He also added that though this is driven by the existence of SES, the satellite operator globally. Ross has suggested that they need to focus their attention on the legal issues in commercial space activities. He said that it is the time to think via the needs of space community in commercial law. He did not get into specific details.