Australia among moon accord signatories


The Artemis Accords proposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration seeks to establish a set of principles for space exploration including lunar resource extraction.

UK Space Agency chief executive Graham Turnock was tasked with signing the Artemis Accords during a virtual ceremony that took place during the Astronautical Congress.

Any countries that violate the accords will be asked to depart from the program.

Other principles include affirming that they will render assistance to each other in case of emergency, make their scientific data public, preserve the heritage of outer space and plan for the safe disposal of space debris.

Among the countries that signed the agreement outside the United States are Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. has been the only country to send astronauts to the moon, but nobody has stepped foot on the celestial body since 1972.

The country's role as a NASA partner has been evident for decades, Bridenstine said, most notably when the Maple Leaf-emblazoned Canadarm was a fixture of Space Shuttle missions throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

The new accords, according to a NASA release, "establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in the agency's 21st century lunar exploration plans".

While NASA is leading the Artemis program, it has emphasized the need for global partnerships in building up a sustainable presence on the Moon, something the agency views as key ahead of an eventual human mission to Mars.

"The Artemis journey is to the Moon, but the destination of the Accords is a peaceful and prosperous future".

He added that with the signing of the accord, it will enable "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".

The UK will be responsible for developing the service module and habitation module of the Lunar Gateway, a new space station orbiting the moon.

"Transparency, public registration, deconflicting operations - these are the principles that will preserve peace", Mike Gold, NASA acting associate administrator for worldwide and interagency relations, said in a statement.

China, meanwhile, is out altogether.



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