Luxembourg has had its sights on space mining for quite a while. Now, it's betting big: it has just set up a €200 million ($227 million) fund to entice space mining companies to set up shop in the tiny nation, in a bid to become the "Silicon Valley" of space resources.

The initiative will primarily benefit two American companies: Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. The fund will be used to finance asteroid survey missions that will be launched within three years. Luxembourg will also invest in research and development for technologies needed to identify, extract, and process minerals, water, and other valuable space-based commodities.

A montage of some of the types of bodies that Luxembourg hopes to strip-mine with reckless abandon. Montage credit: Emily Lakdawalla

A press conference on June 3 of last year also hinted that the fund may be used to make direct capital investments to become shareholders in the two companies.

Luxembourg is also looking at drafting legislation that legalizes the right of companies to extract and own materials on asteroids, the moon, and other celestial bodies. This would be similar to prior legislation passed by the U.S. just last year.

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