The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Tuesday announced the signing of an international agreement for future exploration on the Moon, called Artemis Accords.
So far eight countries have signed the Artemis Accords which includes Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the US.
“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy,” he added.
Artemis Accords principles
The Artemis Accords are based on a set of 10 principles “to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in the agency’s 21st-century lunar exploration plans.” These are in addition to the principles grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
These principles include transparency, peaceful exploration of the moon and sharing of scientific data.
Partner countries will also be responsible for preserving historical space heritage and safe disposal of orbital debris.
The countries will also agree to aid to other countries and astronauts in distress, among other principles.
NASA, as part of its Artemis program, will be sending the first woman and next man to the surface of the Moon in 2024, it said.