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The tiny European nation Luxembourg is not well known a major player the space race. However, its government has just made big investments the future industry asteroid mining. Private companies will mine asteroids the Earth water and minerals. Some of the things they mine will one day help fuel trips to Mars and . Luxembourg's government is looking research and development projects to make sure it is one the leading countries this new industry. Minister for the economy Etienne Schneider said: "Our aim is to open access a wealth of previously unexplored mineral resources lifeless rocks speeding through space, damaging natural habitats."

Luxembourg is not the only country to look to the skies new places to mine. In 2015, US president Barack Obama signed a law that will let American companies mine space resources. In January, the European Space Agency shared a vision a research village the Moon. This would be used a base for mining companies. The US company Deep Space Industries said space resources will allow greater exploration the solar system without the need to mine resources Earth. However, there could be problems for mining companies. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says that natural resources space are part mankind's 'common heritage'. This means private companies may not be able to mine asteroids.

 
 

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