BEACON TRANSCRIPT – This little country isn’t one you hear about every day, but as Luxembourg goes hunting for asteroids now, it might grow popular. This small nation has teamed up with Deep Space Industries, a US company, to become the first spacefaring European nation.
The space program is to be called LuxIMPULSE. This partnership between the two far-apart countries aims to build a small spacecraft. It is going to be named Prospector-X and will measure 30 cm in length. Prospector-X is going to be built in Europe, at Deep Space Industries’ new headquarters in Luxembourg. The small spacecraft will consist of three CubeSat units and solar panels. A navigational system made out of two cameras will operate close to the space targets. Additionally, electrothermal thrusters and radiation-tolerant avionics are to be built in.
This tiny spacecraft is to be sent into low Earth orbit sometime in the upcoming years. If the mission gains success, further asteroid-mining spacecrafts will be sent out in space after the year 2020. Their mission will be to search for water and minerals.
This sudden interest in asteroids is due to a controversial bill signed by US President Barack Obama. The bill gives ownership of the extracted asteroids materials to the US companies who conducted the space missions.
The tiny nation of Luxembourg now wants to show the world that space isn’t just for the biggest world powers. But it does help having an American partner while you’re making your entry in the space discovery game.
For those that wonder what the ultimate goal of the mission is, you should know that the American company has big plans ahead. Deep Space Industries’ goal is to build huge structures in outer space. These structures should be able to house thousands of humans. But in order to get to that futuristic point, Daniel Faber, CEO of Deep Space Industries, says that asteroids extracting is essential in order to make resources available.
There is a constant thirst for information about the Universe. The quest for development beyond the limits of the Earth is also an increasing desire for scientists. As Luxembourg goes hunting for asteroids and enters the race for space, it may give an impulse to other small nations to involve themselves in space missions. After all, opportunities are not lacking for those who want to make the most of them.
IMAGE SOURCE: DeviantART