NASA knows that to establish human presence on the Moon, it will have to work with foreign space agencies and with private companies. That's why it has introduced a set of guidelines called the "Artemis Accords" for organizations that want to participate in the Artemis program, aimed at landing the first woman and the next man on the faithful companion of Earth by 2024.
NASA says that the Artemis Agreements are intended to 'establish a common set of principles governing civil exploration and the use of outer space.' As the agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, explained during a briefing, it will serve as the basis for bilateral agreements with other countries, so potential partners would know what they agree to when they sign up for the Artemis Programme. To be clear, NASA is already working with other countries to construct the Lunar Gateway - as CNBC notes, the Agreements focus on nations that want to conduct space activities.
The agency shared a sketch of the Agreements on its website, starting with the requirement for participants to conduct activities intended only for peaceful purposes. Artemis partners will also need to be transparent with their policies, use open international standards or develop new ones for interoperability purposes, and plan orbital debris mitigation.
Partner nations must also commit to assisting astronauts in distress and to disclosing to the public the scientific data they gather. Also, under the auspices of the Outer Space Treaty, they must promise to collect resources from the Moon , Mars and asteroids. In particular, the Accords highlight a few of the Articles of the Treaty, including one that states that the Moon and other celestial bodies are "not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, use or occupation, or by any other means."
During the briefing Brindenstine stated:
“I want to see private companies going to the moon. I want to see international partners joining with us on the Artemis program. I want to see private companies and NASA going to Mars. And, in order to achieve that, we have to reconsider the very, very stringent kind of requirements that are placed on going to these other planetary bodies.”
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