Facing tough competition from China, the United States and even tiny Luxembourg, Germany is racing to draft new laws and attract private investment to secure a slice of an emerging space market that could be worth $1 trillion a year by the 2040s.
The drive to give Germany a bigger role in space comes as European, Asian and U.S. companies stake out ground in an evolving segment that promises contracts for everything from exploration to mining of outer-space resources.
Firms likely to benefit from any future spending rise in Germany include Airbus, which co-owns the maker of Europe’s Ariane space rockets, and Bremen-based OHB.
The new legislation would limit financial and legal liabilities of private companies should accidents happen in orbit, set standards for space operations and offer incentives for new projects, the German economy ministry told Reuters.
The ministry’s aerospace and space commissioner, Thomas Jarzombek, could submit the laws to parliament later this year. The move comes as companies and trade groups press for German authorities to establish a regulatory framework for the lucrative new market to encourage private investment.
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