Luxembourg Invests in Spire’s $70 million Series C Round

Luxembourg, November 15, 2017 (Luxembourg PR) – The Luxembourg Government and Spire Global signed a cooperation agreement to develop, through the opening of a European HQ by the US-based company, several key activities in the Grand Duchy focused on space platform engineering, data analytics, infrastructure engineering and business development. The office in Luxembourg will serve as Spire’s full-service European headquarters. Spire is a satellite powered data company with offices in the US, Europe and Asia offering products for global ship tracking and high frequency weather data.

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Former NASA Ames Official Joins Luxembourg Space Affairs Department

Gary Martin

Luxembourg, November 14, 2017 (Luxembourg PR) – The Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy today announced that Mr. Gary Martin, former Director of Partnerships at NASA Ames, recently joined its Space Affairs Department. As an independent advisor, Gary Martin assists the Directorate-General for Research, Intellectual Property and New Technologies, in charge of Space Affairs, to implement the strategy relating to the SpaceResources.lu initiative in close collaboration with national partners from research and academia.

Gary Martin retired from the position as Director of Partnerships at NASA Ames Research Center, which is one of ten NASA field centers and is located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. He was in charge of identifying new business opportunities, creating entrepreneurial partnerships, transferring NASA technology to industry, and contributing to the development of the Center’s long-term strategy. Gary Martin was with NASA for over 25 years and worked at Langley Research Center, NASA Headquarters and Goddard Space Flight Center before joining NASA Ames.

Gary Martin stated: “I am honored to assist the Luxembourg Government in its efforts to position Luxembourg as an ideal location for innovative projects in advanced space technologies.”

Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Etienne Schneider, commented: “I am delighted to welcome in our team a recognized expert for his contribution to research and innovation at NASA. Gary Martin will put his expertise and experience to the benefit of Luxembourg’s willingness to sustain the development of a new economic era in space and the positioning of the country as a global space hub.”

UAE, Luxembourg Sign MOU on Space Exploration Cooperation

LUXEMBOURG, October 10, 2017 (Luxembourg PR) — Considering their common interest in the exploration, use and application of space for peaceful purposes, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jointly agreed on the opportunity to cooperate on space activities. The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, represented by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, and the UAE, represented by the Minister of State for Higher Education and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, signed today in Abu Dhabi a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to start bilateral cooperation on space activities with particular focus on the exploration and utilization of space resources.

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Luxembourg Signs MOU With Magna Parva Subsidiary

LUXEMBOURG, July 24, 2017 (Luxembourg Government PR) – The Luxembourg Government and Luxembourg-based Kleos Space S.à r.l. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing the framework for their cooperation within the SpaceResources.lu initiative with focus on space technology development. The newly created Kleos Space company is 100% owned by UK-based Magna Parva Limited.

Kleos Space is active in geolocation services and develops a space infrastructure for geo-intelligence and signal intelligence applications with in-space manufacturing. Within the framework of this MoU, the developments and research to take place in Luxembourg are related to the project for in-space manufacturing of composite beams equipped with antennas. Kleos Space will collaborate with EmTroniX, a Luxembourg-based company specialized in electronics development, as well as with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) on this subject. The Government will support the development of the in-space manufacturing technology by providing funding through the Luxembourg space program (LuxIMPULSE).

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Luxembourg Parliament Adopts Space Resources Law

LUXEMBOURG, July 13, 2017  (Luxembourg Government PR) – The Luxembourg Parliament adopted the draft law on the exploration and use of space resources. The Grand Duchy is thus the first European country to offer a legal framework ensuring that private operators can be confident about their rights on resources they extract in space. The law will come into force on August 1, 2017. Its first article provides that space resources are capable of being owned. The country’s law also establishes the procedures for authorizing and supervising space exploration missions.

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Luxembourg, ESA Enhance Cooperation on Asteroid Missions

PARIS (Luxembourg Government PR) — At the occasion of the 2017 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider visited the ESA pavilion and, together with ESA Director General, Jan Wörner, signed a joint statement on future activities concerning missions to the asteroids, related technologies and space resources exploration and utilisation.

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Planetary Resources Pivots Again

Well, it looks like our friends over at the asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources have pivoted once again.

You might recall that last June the company announced it had raised a Series A round of funding totaling $21.1 million for an Earth-observation project called Ceres. The constellation of satellites would monitor natural uses using the infrared and hyperspectral sensors.

In the five years since the company came out of stealth mode, it has pivoted from focusing on asteroid missions to remote sensing and now back to asteroid missions.

Foust didn’t report on the reason for the latest pivot. However, Planetary Resources main financial backer and partner is the government of Luxembourg, a postage-size country (as these things go) that doesn’t have a lot of use for natural resource monitoring, but is very interested in asteroid mining.

In November 2016, Luxembourg announced it was investing $28 million in Planetary Resources. The company also has set up an office in the European nation.

Foust did report that Lewicki, who is the company’s CEO, said two Arkyd-6 satellites are being readied for delivery in the next month for launch. The spacecraft will search for promising asteroids.

Lewicki also said the company plans to launch its first asteroid prospecting mission in the second half of 2020.

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Luxembourg Goes All In on Highly Speculative Asteroid Mining

Tiny Luxembourg is aiming to be the BMOA (big man on asteroids) when it comes to extraterrestrial mining.

The government of Luxembourg expects to soon have in place both a new national space law and a national space agency, two key steps in the small European country’s outsized contribution to the development of a space resources industry.

“We found out that, in order to be successful, and in order to help businesses to develop in this sector, it needs several commitments,” said Etienne Schneider, deputy prime minister of Luxembourg and minister of finance, in remarks at the meeting.

Those commitments, he said, include a “fully committed” government, a legal framework, research and development funding and access to venture capital. “I think that Luxembourg can offer all this,” he said.

The next major milestone for the country’s space resources initiative is passage of a new national space law. That bill, he said, “will be voted on this month or, at the latest, next month.”

Read the full story.

Luxembourg to Launch a Fund Offering Financial Support for Space Resources Industry

LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Government PR – To promote Luxembourg as a European hub for the exploration and commercial use of space resources, the Ministry of the Economy conducted from April 9th to April 13th an economic mission headed by Luxembourg’s Crown Prince to the U.S. West Coast. The mission aimed to identify and develop new business opportunities and to promote the governmental SpaceResources.lu initiative that offers an attractive overall framework for space resource utilization related activities, including but not limited to the legal regime to provide private companies and investors with a secure legal environment as of the ownership of resources gathered in space.

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Luxembourg to Unveil Space Resources Regulatory Framework on Friday

luxembourg_flag-svgLUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is pleased to announce an international press conference within the SpaceResources.lu initiative to present a legal and regulatory framework for space resource utilization activities.

The SpaceResources.lu initiative defines a general framework for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids.  Amongst the key actions undertaken is the establishment of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for space resource utilization activities to guarantee operators the right to harvest resources in outer space in accordance with international law.

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Luxembourg Government Becomes a Key Shareholder of Planetary Resources

luxembourg_flag-svgLUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg PR)–The Luxembourg Government, the public-law banking institution “Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement” (SNCI) and U.S.-based space technology company Planetary Resources have signed a 25 million euro investment and cooperation agreement within the framework of Luxembourg’s SpaceResources.lu initiative which aims at the exploration and the commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids.

Within this agreement, the Luxembourg Government invests direct capital in Planetary Resources, Inc. and the Ministry of Economy is providing funding through different types of R&D grants.

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Planetary Resources Finalizes 25 Million Euro Investment

planetary_resourcesREDMOND, Washington, November 3, 2016 (Planetary Resources PR) – Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that it has finalized a 25 million euro [$27.75 million] agreement that includes direct capital investment of 12 million euros and grants of 13 million euros from the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the banking institution Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI).

The funding will accelerate the company’s technical advancements with the aim of launching the first commercial asteroid prospecting mission by 2020. This milestone fulfilled the intent of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Grand Duchy and its SpaceResources.lu initiative that was agreed upon this past June.

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Entrepreneurial Lingo Lesson: The Pivot

twist_chubby1_disrupt copy
First in an irregular series on entrepreneurial buzz words

Come on let’s pivot again,
Like we did last quarter!
Yeaaah, let’s pivot again,
Like we did last year!

Do you remember when,
ROI was really hummin’,
Yeaaaah, let’s pivot again,
Pivotin’ time is here!

Heeee, and round and round til IPO we go!
Oh, baby, make those investors love us so!

Let’s pivot again,
Like we did last quarter!
Yeaaah, let’s pivot again,
Like we did last year!

There comes a time in the existence of many startups when there an urgent need to change direction. You set up the company to pursue a goal, but for one reason or several — a lack of a market, shortage of investment, regulatory hurdles, a flawed concept — you have to direct all that talent, technology and enthusiasm toward a new objective that will keep the company in operation.

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Planetary Resources Signs MOU With Luxembourg Government, Bank

Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)
Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)

REDMOND, Wash., USA,  June 13, 2016 (Planetary Resources PR) – Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the banking institution Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI).

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