Thursday, October 29, 2020
Oct. 29, 2020

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Eight countries sign accords governing moon exploration


NEW YORK — NASA on Tuesday announced that the United States and seven other nations had signed accords that establish rules for space exploration.

The Artemis Accords, named after the U.S. space agency’s program to land astronauts on the moon by 2024, were signed by Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

Through Artemis, NASA aims to establish sustainable lunar surface exploration with its international partners by 2028, as a stepping stone to the first human mission to Mars.

The principles laid out in the accords ensure a shared understanding of safe operations, use of space resources, minimizing orbital debris and sharing scientific data.

Major space powers China and Russia were not among the signatories, though NASA hopes more countries will join.

“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,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

“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.

NASA said the accords would help avoid conflict in space and on earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions.