Nasa announces international guidelines for space exploration ‘Artemis Accords’

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 16, 2020

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Friday announced a global set of principles for space exploration for international organizations called the ‘Artemis Accords.’

“It’s a new dawn for space exploration! Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon. We go, together,” tweeted NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The Artemis Accords are not quite like space laws but are voluntary guidelines for NASA and its international partners to follow for “peaceful” space exploration. NASA has invited partner nations and organizations to join this agreement to advance the cause of exploration and industry globally.

The progress of space exploration including mining and colonization lacks structure in terms of an international treaty, a gap that NASA is looking to fill with this agreement.

“While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars,” NASA said in an official statement.

“With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space,” it said.

The Artemis Accords are additional principles that international space agencies that join NASA in the Artemis program can follow. These are in addition to the principles grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, “to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.”

“The Artemis Accords call for partner nations to utilize open international standards, develop new standards when necessary, and strive to support interoperability to the greatest extent practical,” it said.

These principles include transparency, peaceful exploration, sharing of scientific data, preserving historical heritage, open and practical international standards and providing aid to other countries and astronauts in distress among others.

NASA is planning to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024 via its Artemis program.

Published on May 16, 2020

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