back to article Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Luxembourg's parliament has passed a law that makes it the first European Union country to offer legal certainty that asteroid mining companies get to keep what they find in space. Take Article 1: "Space resources are capable of being appropriated". "It's a great law," Amara Graps, a planetary scientist, asteroid mining …

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Well it's good that aliens can now legally mine asteroids around our solar system. It was always a grey area although not policed much !!!

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Alien

Of course it was a Grey area.

And it will stay that way, goddammit.

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Well it's good that aliens can now legally mine asteroids around our solar system. It was always a grey area although not policed much !!!

Bloody Luxembourgians, as usual they're only after the EU deep space mining subsidies! I already approached Brussels regarding asteroid belt agronomy subsidies, but was told that there are no plans to subsidise space cabbage growers.

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Anonymous Coward

I have secured of 9000 million of funding to set up a think tank looking into creating Alastair Reynoldisan Greenfly, only with Luxembourgish National Colors.

Beware the Red-White-Babyblue skies!

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@macjules - y'don't want to be eating too many cabbages if you'll be wearing space-suits a lot - and don't even think about baked beans!

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Alien

Dodgy Picture

Arrakis (where the spice worms come from) does not have open water like that.

Or was it a troll picture waiting for some geek to say that?

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Re: Dodgy Picture

Thats not the only problem with that picture; I don't recall anybody hunting sandworrms with whaling harpoons (and missing a lot) either.

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Re: Dodgy Picture

Come now: you have to drown them to get spice. The harpoons are just for, er, persuasion...

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Re: Dodgy Picture

There are so many things wrong with the picture that I'm trying to figure out if it's supposed to be a mix of Dune and some other series. Just can't figure out what the other one would be.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Dodgy Picture

Seaworms, from expanded Dune, whatever that is...

http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Seaworm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandworms_of_Dune

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Re: Dodgy Picture

Spice comes from worm activity and is a by product of their natural processes. The water of life comes from drowning a juvenile worm. I had the same thought that the picture was wrong - sandworms die when exposed to water. But in a later book Waff genetically altered the sandworms to become seaworms to live in water on Buzzell - maybe that is the picture? /Geek

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Re: Dodgy Picture

It's actually a picture of Anti-Rakis, where everything is reversed, sand is water, the Harkonnen are the good guys and the Atreides are evil terrorists that need to be defuned/sanctioned.

A bit like in the newspapers.

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Headmaster

Arrakis....

...didn't originally have water like that . /pedant. PP

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dodgy Picture

I also don't remember Jesus being in Dune.

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Re: Dodgy Picture

Was going to say, that sounds like the Daily Mail.

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Re: Dodgy Picture

Replaced shortly before 16:58 by the sandy version.

Come on El Reg.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Dodgy Picture

El Reg couldn't afford the royalties to show artwork from the real Dune series, so this image is from the Asian knockoff "Doon".

(Paris plays Lady Jessika in the straight-to-$3-DVD movie version)

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Re: Dodgy Picture

so this image is from the Asian knockoff "Doon".

Silly pedant time:

Actually, Doon was the National Lampoon parody.

(The sprinkles must flow!) ☺

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Re: Arrakis....

@Pedigree-Pete

Actually, to be really pedantic, Arrakis DID have water like that before the sandtrout were introduced. They locked away all the water so they could safely grow into the sandworms.

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Coat

Re: Dodgy Picture

"Were whaling on the moon..."

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as long as they are called something like "Alien mining SARL" they'll be fine - and pay their corporation tax in Luxembourg of course - see what they've done there, it's like dotcom companies but bigger !

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Holmes

This assumption is correct.

The problem is that there is correctly zero tech to do any sort of space mining whatsoever, and you will have to touchdown in China or the US or the Africa-reformatted-by-China, and thus pay "landing taxes"...

It also doesn't agree with Luxembourg's anti-nuclear stance. Chemical rocket space mining? I laugh. Now, if the next law allows plutonium reprocessing to begin in the industrial wastelands of its southern part, I will change my current sarcastic stance.

Interestingly, Peter Marquez served as director of space policy under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama

Looks pretty junior. I don't know what he got paid for his efforts, pretty sure it must be a 7-number figure. It sounds like he has one of those close-to-State revolving door jobs that are amply rewarded for emitting Word documents.

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Anonymous Coward

Or...

Or in the middle of the Pacific, well away from any countries' economic zones.

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Re: Or...

Like on some sort of barge?

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as long as they are called something like "Alien mining SARL" they'll be fine - and pay their corporation tax in Luxembourg of course - see what they've done there, it's like dotcom companies but bigger !

You may find that Wayland-Yutani has just incorporated in Luxembourg.

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Pirate

Re: Or...

"Like on some sort of barge?"

run by pirates. Arrrr!

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Alien

Existing Sentient claims

Will the ECJ or some other court arbitrate between competing claimants, inc. indigenous ones. Is it a case of whoever hires the most mercenaries first has the claim?

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Re: Existing Sentient claims

You better hire the United States Space Corps to protect your claims.

Looking forward to seeing actual Space Marines in action.

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Re: Existing Sentient claims

@Destroy All Monsters

Nah--Colonial Marines will do just fine. Especially after we lose contact with the mining outpost on planet LV 426.

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Re: Existing Sentient claims

Didn't they already have Space Marines in the late 1970ies?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Existing Sentient claims

> Didn't they already have Space Marines in the late 1970ies?

That was back when the UK still had functional space shuttles.

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Re: Existing Sentient claims

@allthecoolshortnamesweretaken - Yep, for at least a decade previously Mr Heinlein in his historical document "Starship Troopers" released in 1959 was writing about space marines.. I still have a NEL edition showing lots of white space-suited figures with red weapons 'on the bounce' during combat on the cover. Still one of my favourite books, and far, far better than the dreadful film of the same name.

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Lets pass a law...

...stating that we own everything mined in space.

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Re: Lets pass a law...

That might work for a while, until there is a sizable segment of Humanity living off-planet. Then of course they will begin to feel differently about it...

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Anonymous Coward

Who will testing the materials mined for odd chemicals or pathogens that might be coming back to Earth? Of course, this may all be irrelevant considering http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

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The main point of asteroid mining is to provide materials for construction and consumption in space to avoid the cost of lifting them out of Earth's gravity well.

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> climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

Yup, but not in the next 600 millions years.

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Anonymous Coward

re: earth-too-hot-for-humans

Thanks for posting that link - your down-voter should have read it before down-voting you ...

I wish I had more up-votes I could give you ...

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> "Who will testing the materials mined for odd chemicals or pathogens that might be coming back to Earth?"

Somebody has been watching old movies.

"Odd chemicals"? Can't compare to the ones we create right here on Earth. I mean, the idea of Rampaging Minerals from Space is sooo 50's (pretty good movie tho).

About the pathogens. No fear; any poor, radiation-raddled microbe that somehow manages to arrive intact will find itself at the mercy of an existing (and highly advanced) biosphere, that will of course show no mercy. At best it will somehow survive and become a distinct part of the biosphere, like Archaea but more foreign.

It's really our implacable microbes that might threaten other potential biomes (Mars, Europa).

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It's really our implacable microbes that might threaten other potential biomes (Mars, Europa).

Are you sure about that?

Earth microbes have evolved to compete on Earth. I find it highly doubtful that Earth life will be able to out-compete Martian(or any other location) life in its native habitat.

That said, we want to identify and understand alien life before we start mixing. We wouldn't want the microbe that produces the cure for cancer to die before we find it.

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Luxembourg Ministry

Of economy based in Riga Latvia.

Now that's outsourcing.

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Is this limited to asteroids no larger than Luxembourg? Luxembourg could be the Reg unit of asteroid size.

BTW did anyone see the article about a new berg breaking away from Antarctica? The Beeb gave it's size as half a Wales, /. as a whole Delaware.

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Depends. How many asteroids are bigger than Luxembourg? Might want to pick a smaller unit, like say, the 'guam,' or maybe even the 'liechtenstein.'

About that iceberg, Delaware seems to be a natural unit, altho "Two Rhode Islands" might be more apropos. Wales is not useful because it's bigger than any known iceberg.

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Flame

Jupiter Mining Corp

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We're living in the future

“Luxembourg’s new space resources law provides Planetary Resources with a strong basis for stability and predictability for our current and future asteroid mining operations."

Current asteroid mining operations?

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Re: We're living in the future

Obligatory Far Side

http://68.media.tumblr.com/670e5aac545e22de4e185a5bcc9e2605/tumblr_n8iwsveFAH1sjxvs8o8_500.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Usual move for a tax haven, no tax on imported rocks

Space will be the new wild west.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Usual move for a tax haven, no tax on imported rocks

Luxembourg is far away from a tax haven, also in the future there will of course be no tax on imported rocks.

It will be flatlanders who will be taxed to have anything move up or down the gravity well.

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They need more than just this

There would need to be some form of laws which apply in space, otherwise what stops me from letting you do all the hard work of mining an asteroid, then coming along and simply taking what you mined? Are the laws of Luxembourg going to help you now? Thought not.

I find it hard to believe anyone is going to invest billions in this until there is some assurance they won't have their hard earned gains simply stolen from them.

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Re: They need more than just this

It would be very expensive to build and operate the hardware required for mining in space. Where do you think funds are coming from for hardware for pirates? I can see it now: "Here's $5BN to build ships and armaments. Try to break even in the first year." All sarcasm aside, I look forward to the day when space travel is so common and inexpensive that piracy is a problem. I think the concern is a bit premature though.

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