Moon exploration will have a couple of new norms to follow henceforth. NASA has just laid the foundation for an international pact for Moon exploration with its Artemis Accords. These are governing principles that highlight safety zones to avoid ‘harmful interference’ from other countries and organizations as the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration puts it.
NASA Artemis Accords Explained
The NASA Artemis Accords are part of the space organizations to build a long-term presence on the Moon under the Artemis Moon program. The new norms permit organizations to own lunar resources for mining, which is indeed a crucial element that can convert Moon’s water ice for rocket fuel or even mine lunar minerals for future landing pads.
One of the key prospects of the Artemis Accords is that lunar exploration is a peaceful enterprise and isn’t supposed to be a site for weapon storage of mass destruction. Also, the Accords restricts anyone from laying sovereign claim to an outer space body and ensures we don’t contaminate the places we explore.
“With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space,” the Artemis Accords read.
As reported by Reuters, there’s already an international framework in place as the Outer Space Treaty. However, this was quite vague with loose guidelines and now, NASA aims to provide a little more structure for future Moon exploration.
NASA Artemis Accords Global Debate
Of course, the Artemis Accords have set the stage for a global debate regarding the Moon exploration. Not all countries will gladly sign the agreement. For one, the agreement touches many tiny things like sharing data opening, just like NASA does and other countries would keep the Apollo landing site unharmed.
Bridenstine hinted that countries like Japan and Canada are interested in this approach. But not everyone is game to sign the Artemis Accords. For one, Russia isn’t very pleased with this idea and Dmitry Rogozin, director-general of Russia’s Roscosmos argued that “the principle of invasion is the same, whether it be the Moon or Iraq.” Nevertheless, NASA is hopeful that the global debate will bring in more countries on board for the Artemis Accords.
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