Yesterday the Space Resources Week 2021, the largest global event dedicated to the sector of space resources, came to a close. The event, which is organized by the European Space Resources Innovation Center (ESRIC) in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) was held in Luxembourg and lasted four days.
The Space Resources Week aims at connecting thought leaders from the terrestrial resources sector, aerospace industry, financial institutions, research institutes and academia in order to understand the technical and economic challenges facing in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and elaborate recommendations for the future development of this high technology sector.
The fifth edition of the Space Resources Week, which was held online, was attended by many international companies interested in the exploitation of resources found on the surface of the moon and other space bodies. This sector in fact represents a new frontier of sustainable growth based on scientific and technological innovation. Among the companies attending the event were Italians Telespazio, Ohb Italia e Argotec, alongside See Lab, Bocconi University’s own research center on space economy, and the Politecnico of Milan.
The space economy sector is of strategic importance both for Luxembourg and Italy. Luxembourg has already established a normative framework for the regulation of space mining and has since then developed many initiatives in the field of new space economy. The Italian space sector is strong and constantly growing, and it is characterized by the presence of first-class players, known for their innovative capacity and the quality of their products. Moreover, the two countries are the only European members of NASA’s Artemis Program, that aims at returning humans to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program, lying the foundations for a “lunar economy”.
During the opening session of the Space Resources Week Giorgio Saccoccia, president of the Italian Space Agency, highlighted Italy’s significative efforts in the field of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), that includes the active involvement of Italian companies that do not directly operate in the space sector and that are able to provide advanced technological solutions to the challenges that human space explorations face.
Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni, in charge of Cultural and Economic Promotion at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also welcomed the initiative. Angeloni said that the Space Resources Week “is in line with the many activities coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to promote the internationalization of Italian businesses and to promote research in the space and technology sectors. These sectors are of strategic importance for our country, that can boast industrial and scientific excellencies appreciated all over the world”.
The Italian Ambassador in Luxembourg, Diego Brasioli, thanked the Italian Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry for the support given to the Space Resources Week, underlining its importance in sight of “the increased cooperation among academics, scientists and industries of Italy and Luxembourg, two founding members of the European Union united by a tight bond thanks to the presence of an important Italian business community in Luxembourg. The country presents many opportunities of investment which the Embassy is working on, together with the Italian Trade Ageny Office in Bruxelles and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg”.