Artemis Accords Signatories

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Artemis Accords Signatories

The process of exploring space is currently ongoing and the Artemis Accords provide guidelines for collaboration between nations.

The Artemis Accords are a set of guidelines that establish principles and best practices for safely exploring the moon and other celestial bodies, as humanity expands the duration and reach of space missions.

The Artemis program, led by NASA, aims to begin a new era of space exploration and put the first woman and person of color on the moon in 2024, and international partnerships with various countries and private companies are crucial for its success.

The goal of the accords, created by NASA, is to establish a common set of principles to ensure that missions under the Artemis mission are conducted responsibly.

Co-led by NASA and the U.S. Department of State, the Artemis Accords are signed at a national level and are voluntary for countries to sign.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated in 2020 that the Artemis Accords will establish a global coalition for the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and will establish principles for a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all humanity.

One of the fundamental principles of the Artemis Accords is the commitment to adhering to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The accords also emphasize the importance of the 1968 Rescue and Return Agreement, which requires countries to safely return astronauts and equipment to Earth, as well as other space-related policies such as the 1972 Liability Convention and 1975 Registration Convention.

The Artemis Accords were first introduced and signed by eight nations in October 2020, and representatives of the signatory countries met in person for the first time at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris on September 19, 2022.

The scope of the accords covers activities on orbit, on the surface, and in the subsurface of the moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids, as well as stable orbital points known as the Lagrangian points for the Earth-moon system and objects in transit between these celestial bodies and locations.

The Artemis Accords document, created by NASA, outlines the key principles of the accords, which include: peaceful exploration of space, with all activities conducted under the Artemis program being carried out for peaceful purposes in accordance with international law.

Transparency: Signatory nations should conduct their activities in a transparent way to prevent confusion and conflict, and should share scientific information with the public and the international scientific community on a good-faith basis, even for competing projects.

Interoperability: The accords encourage nations participating in the Artemis program to develop and provide support for systems that can work in conjunction with existing infrastructure, enhancing the safety and sustainability of space operations.

Emergency Assistance: Nations signing the Artemis Accords are committed to assisting astronauts and personnel in outer space who are in distress.

Registration of Space Objects: Nations participating in Artemis should determine which of them should register any relevant space object.

Preserving Heritage: Artemis Accords signatories have committed to preserving humanity’s outer space heritage, including sites with historic significance such as human or robotic landing sites, artifacts, spacecraft, and other evidence of activity on other celestial bodies.

Space Resources: The accord signatories affirm that extracting and utilizing space resources from celestial bodies is vital to supporting safe and sustainable space exploration, and commit to informing the U.N. Secretary General, the public, and the scientific community of space resource extraction activities.

Deconfliction of Activities: The Artemis Accords nations are committed to preventing harmful interference and exercising the principle of due regard, and to establishing “safety zones” with areas that can be established between countries and which can be ended when relevant operations cease.

Orbital Debris: Artemis Accords countries are committed to planning for the safe, timely, and efficient disposal of debris as part of the mission planning process, and also agree to limit the generation of new long-lived or harmful debris, including the safe disposal of space structures in the post-operation phase of missions.

As of the time of writing, NASA has reported that 23 countries have signed the Artemis Accords, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Canada, and Brazil. On December 13, 2022, at the U.S./Africa Space Forum held in Washington D.C., Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the accords. According to NASA, as of January 3, 2023, the nations that have signed the Artemis Accords are: Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.

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