Millions of people all over the world watched the Asteroid Day 2017 broadcast and hundreds of thousands attended the 1,000+ events across the world. Now headquartered in Luxembourg, Asteroid Day is truly a global event that brings together notable scientists, astronauts, business leaders, artists, Nobel Laureates and private citizens. Hosted by Dr Stuart Clark and Professor Brian Cox the panel sessions were outstanding ranging from asteroid deflection to asteroid mining, astronauts’ perspectives when viewing earth from space and the future of our planet and the human race. A coup for Luxembourg that brings worldwide visibility to Luxembourg’s space ambitions and a riveting event that seeks to, “harness the power of science and technology to protect the future of our planet” This year Asteroid Day was LIVE on air from the RTL City studios in Luxembourg.
Let’s make it happen in space
Asteroid Day is a United Nations’ sanctioned event dedicated to the education and awareness of asteroids, and in particular the protection of Earth from dangerous impacts. But it also represents a perfect opportunity to discuss the dangers and opportunities from asteroids but also space in general and as such is a perfect for Luxembourg’s space ambitions.
The Government of Luxembourg and executives of Asteroid Day announced the selection of Luxembourg as the official headquarters for the Asteroid Day organisation in April 2017. Activities for Asteroid Day are focused around the June 30 anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska asteroid impact, the largest in recorded history.
Asteroid Day was launched in 2015, under the leadership of Dr Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of QUEEN; Lord Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal; US Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Romanian Astronaut Dorin Prunariu, filmmaker Grig Richters; three-time US Astronaut and CEO, B612 Dr Ed Lu; and Ms. Danica Remy, COO, B612 all of whom, with the exception of Brian May and Lord Martin Rees, were present for the 2017 event and who engaged in a series of panel discussions on a fantastic array of space topics. Videos of these panels are now available.
“We are very pleased to be the premier sponsor of Asteroid Day and welcome the organisation to Luxembourg,” stated Luxembourg Deputy Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider. “In addition to the excitement that our SpaceResources.lu initiative is generating across the world, hosting the Asteroid Day headquarters in Luxembourg offers the Grand Duchy an additional opportunity to set its course in the space sector where the country is becoming increasingly important.”
Making it happen in space
For Luxembourg there is plenty to talk about in terms of space business.
In early spring Étienne Schneider announced a New Space Europe Conference to be held from 16/11/2017 to /17/11/2017 in Luxembourg.
At the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget on June 21, 2017, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced Europe’s first innovation competition on space exploration, the “Space Exploration Masters”. The Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and its SpaceResources.lu initiative feature a special prize in this competition, focused on ideas targeting the utilisation of space resources.
Leading the way in supporting space exploration, Luxembourg is the first European state with a legal framework on the use of space resources and comes only second in the world in doing so, after the United States. The draft law dedicated to the appropriation of space resources, which follows international law and the Outer Space Treaty, will soon be voted on.
“We want to be first movers and we are now talking to many governments to continue the discussion on a legal framework for space exploration at a UN level,” stated Étienne Schneider, while visiting Luxembourg’s Science Centre in Differdange to launch Asteroid Day on June 30.
Photo CREDIT: Max Alexander/Asteroid Day