One of Europe’s smallest countries now holds claim to being a giant in the space industry.
Luxembourg, with a population less than the state of Vermont, now generates nearly 2 percent of its annual gross domestic product from the space industry, according to Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider. The country’s economy checked in just shy of $61 billion in 2016, according to the CIA World Factbook.
“We have grown from nothing to the most dynamic in Europe,” Schneider told an audience Saturday, in a speech at the New Worlds conference in Austin, Texas. He added that the country’s space program was first launched just over 30 years ago.
Schneider, who also serves as Luxembourg’s economic minister, told the conference that he is often questioned about why Luxembourg is so “keen on exploiting space resources.” He replied by saying the same “liberal, extremely business friendly climate” that pushed the country’s financial sector boom is now being reapplied to attracting space companies.
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