Eight nations have signed the Artemis Accords, a set of principles that outline responsible exploration of Earth’s closest neighbor, NASA officials announced today. “This is just the beginning,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said yesterday during a phone call with reporters. “These deals will grow from here, and we’re excited to bring in new partners as we move forward.” The Artemis Agreements serve as a preamble to the bilateral government-to-government agreements that participating nations will sign with the United States. Such future agreements will define each country’s specific contribution to the Artemis program, while the newly signed agreements “establish rules of conduct and rules for space operations,” Bridenstine said.
Bridenstine also said that Artemis’s ambitious timing precludes the possibility of working out an all-encompassing multilateral agreement through the United Nations or other international organizations. “If you want to join Artemis’ journey, nations must abide by the Outer Space Treaty and other rules of conduct that will lead to a more peaceful, secure and prosperous future in space exploration, not just for NASA and its partners but for everyone. humanity to enjoy, ”Gold said in yesterday’s call. The Artemis Accords state that the use of space resources can benefit humanity. And NASA plans to exploit lunar resources extensively during the Artemis program, especially water ice that appears to be abundant on the permanently shadowed floors of the lunar craters.
The Artemis program counts on substantial contributions from private industry and international partners. For example, the lander that transports astronauts to the lunar surface will be a commercial vehicle built by SpaceX, Dynetics, or a team led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.