CosmoX’s Asteroid Mining Proposal to the Space Exploration Masters

©2017 — AZO, NASA, CryEngine / Crytek

©2017 — AZO, NASA, CryEngine / Crytek

CosmoX has been working on an innovative and disruptive business model for the next BIG thing in space exploration, asteroid mining!

Space exploration yields many technological benefits for humanity. In fact, every year 10s-100s of new space spinoffs or technology transfers are exploited for terrestrial applications, helping save lives, improve the quality of life, protect the planet, and solve pressing problems back on Earth. The continuous technological development and the substantial increase in the global space economy creates unlimited applications for space industries and non-space industries, as well as opportunities for innovative and disruptive businesses and startups.

©Space Exploration Masters

©Space Exploration Masters

According to the Space Exploration Masters’ website, “this year AZO has launched the Space Exploration Masters on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) and in line with the goals of the ESA Space Exploration Strategy, in cooperation with strong world-class partners. The Space Exploration Masters is an international competition to identify best technology transfer business successes, as well as to empower and foster business innovation around space exploration activities in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), on Moon, Mars, or beyond – for the benefit of society and Earth.”

One of the prizes offered through this initiative is the “Luxembourg Prize,” which aims to discover innovative ideas and business cases complementing the Grand Duchy‘s growing portfolio of activities in space resources utilization.

The Space Exploration Masters notes that

The challenge addresses enterprises, universities, non-university scientific institutions, startup-teams, consortia, and individuals of legal adult age from across the world willing to set-up a sustainable business and to create economic substance in Luxembourg by establishing and registering a Luxembourg-based company. In order to identify critical innovations at an early stage and to speed-up the implementation of emerging business models, the Ministry of the Economy calls for inspiring submissions all along the value chain of space resources (prospection, extraction, processing, utilization, distribution).

Space resources found on asteroids, the moon, and other celestial bodies hold large potential for future technological innovation, economic activity, and growth, with a promise of ecological and social benefits. In 2016, the Ministry of the Economy announced the SpaceResources.lu initiative with a vision to contribute to the peaceful exploration and sustainable utilization of space resources for the benefit of humankind. Luxembourg devised a complete strategy to position the country as a hub for commercial activities targeting the utilization of space resources. The “Luxembourg Prize” within the “New Ideas for Business Innovation” category of the Space Exploration Masters competition integrates perfectly well into the initiative, addressing several of its objectives.

Space mining is a nascent sector in the space industry that promises billions and up to a few thousands of quadrillion dollars in economic growth.

According to Bloomberg,

In 2015, the U.S. Congress sought to resolve this dilemma by explicitly giving American companies ownership rights to whatever bounty they extracted from an asteroid — but not rights to the asteroid itself.

Luxembourg has followed suit in July 2017. In addition to extending property rights for asteroid miners, its new law sets up a framework for authorizing and supervising them, including provisions on corporate governance. It also added a self-interested wrinkle: Any asteroid miner that wants Luxembourg’s legal protection must have an office in Luxembourg. Becoming the Delaware of asteroid-mining business registrations is just part of a larger strategy. Luxembourg plans to invest at least $200 million in related R&D projects, and has offered to purchase equity stakes in companies that move there.

In line with the aforementioned, CosmoX Objectives are to:

  • Develop on-demand spacecraft to study the surface/subsurface of target asteroids, offering services to existing/emerging Space Resources Mining startups to bring down their costs/risk factors of market entry, improve their GTM strategy, help them form evidence-based decisions, assess opportunity costs/ROI, and raise necessary funds before R&D and launch phases,
  • Facilitate rapid data analysis on a cloud-based platform,
  • Allow future space mining systems to communicate with one another and make secure and transparent operations, register land-use ownership, and manage supply-chain (in line with the UN Outer Space Treaty, international/federal laws, and Luxembourg Law on the Exploration and Utilization of Space Resources),
  • Develop strategic partnerships with space industry stakeholders to expand the global space economy,
  • Attract more space startups (especially asteroid mining),
  • Exploit and transfer technologies to other terrestrial industries,
  • Provide the scientific community with more in-depth knowledge of asteroids and the universe,
  • Perform in-depth R&D on innovative technologies and demonstrate their potential applications for the space industry,
  • Engage the general public in commercial space activities.