Italy, U.S. in talks on asteroid mission

'To bring back mineral samples'

(ANSA) - Rome, February 3 - Italian and United States space agencies are in talks on a possible joint asteroid mission, Italian Space Agency (ASI) chief Enrico Flamini said Wednesday.
    His statement came after Luxembourg announced it is working on legislation for the exploitation of raw materials on asteroids.
    "Such legislation has already been approved by the US Congress and it's not surprising that other countries are starting to organize in the same direction," said Flamini.
    Asteroids are highly likely to have valuable raw materials, he explained.
    Flamini added that Italy can contribute its technological know-how to create a living environment in outer space as well as tools to sample and analyze minerals.
    Whether the future asteroid mission will be carried out by robots or humans, its objective will be to "bring a significant quantity of mineral samples back to Earth," he concluded.