Franz Fayot is the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and the Minister of the Economy for the Luxembourg government. A member of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) since 1994, he became the party’s chairperson in 2019. He was elected to Parliament in 2013 and in 2018, as the candidate for the LSAP in the constituency of the Centre. In Parliament, he assumed the role of rapporteur for the draft budget for 2015 and focused on public finances, cultural policy, as well as on social justice and poverty issues. Following the cabinet reshuffle on 4 February 2020, Fayot joined the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the LSAP and the Green Party (déi gréng). From 1997 until his appointment to the government, Franz Fayot worked as a barrister in Luxembourg.
In this interview, Fayot tells Stuart Clark that he was initially drawn to space in his childhood, watching films like Star Wars and 2001, A Space Odyssey. He thinks space offers inspiration and opportunities, and that Asteroid Day has an important role in educating people about asteroids and the roll they play in the formation of the solar system. He discusses how Luxembourg is happy to support Asteroid Day because the day is an established major platform of international education. Luxembourg itself is a pioneer in the utilisation of space resources, such as those that can be found on asteroids. He explains that the country is the first European country giving legal security and certainty for private operators who wish to explore and, eventually, utilise space resources to support sustainable space exploration. As a result, the space sector is already an important contributor to Luxembourg’s economic success as a country.