LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Russia, a leading producer of natural resources, plans to join Luxembourg in mining for minerals in outer space, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Wednesday.
Space mining has been the realm of science fiction, but a handful of firms and governments are pursuing the idea of making it a reality. The small Duchy of Luxembourg became the first country to adopt legal regulations relating to mining in space, including from asteroids.
“In January we offered Luxembourg a framework agreement on cooperation in the use of (mining) exploration in space. We expect an answer from Luxembourg,” said Golikova, part of a Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Commercial mining on other planets or asteroids is still a distant prospect, hampered, among other things, by the technical challenges of how to get large quantities of mined minerals back to Earth.
The focus of entrepreneurs pursuing space mining is instead on using space minerals to create interplanetary “gas stations” that will build, support and fuel colonies on Mars.
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