This month space experts from all over the world convened in Luxembourg for the first Space Resources Week to discuss how best to explore our Solar System sustainably and limit costly transport of resources from Earth – for example can we produce water and oxygen on the Moon?
From extracting water to creating metals from lunar dust, preparing for the next century of exploration will take industry and commercial partnerships off Earth while using resources we find there.
The first days of the convention included a professional course with space engineers, scientists and lawyers and economists followed by a space mining summit on the legal and business aspects and technical challenges of resource use.
On the last two days of Space Resource Week ESA organised a workshop together with the Luxembourg Space Agency to plan the steps Europe will take in the next five years. With over 350 participants from a broad range of disciplines including academia, industry, mining and energy companies as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, investors and economists.
This is just the beginning, humankind is returning to the Moon and we are setting the international collaboration required to do this sustainably and in partnership, we are an inter-disciplinary community of space resource personnel and will convene again next year to review the progress made towards some key breakthroughs, making Europe a leader in this field.