What does the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, UAE and the UK all have in common?
The answer is not the Covid-19 virus. They have all signed the Artemis Accords.
Scratch head and ask…HUH?
Via the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding in a new era for space exploration and utilization.While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars. 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.International space agencies that join NASA in the Artemis program will do so by executing bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, which will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for the benefit of humanity.
It appears that there is now a code of conduct for any Moon missions.
NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. And no trespassing at historic lunar landmarks like Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements., the AP reports. So far, eight countries have signed these so-called Artemis Accords. Founding members include the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he expects more countries to join the effort to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024.
It promises to be the largest coalition for a human spaceflight program in history, according to Bridenstine, and is expected to pave the way for eventual Mars expeditions. “It’s important not only to travel to the moon “with our astronauts, but that we bring with us our values,” noted NASA’s acting chief for international and interagency relations, Mike Gold.
Rule No. 1: Everyone must come in peace. Other rules:
- Secrecy is banned, and all launched objects need to be identified and registered.
- All members agree to pitch in with astronaut emergencies.
- Space systems must be universal so everyone’s equipment is compatible, and scientific data must be shared.
- Historic sites must be preserved, and any resulting space junk must be properly disposed.
- Rovers and other spacecraft cannot have their missions jeopardized by others getting too close.
Violators could be asked to leave, according to Bridenstine. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said.
A “Code of Conduct” is a fine idea….but what about the nations that have not signed on to the Artemis Accords?
Nations like India, China, Russia, South Korea……have not signed on so how do we control the conduct of these nations?
Since these “Accords” are supposedly based on the treaty from 1967……read and learn…..
More treaties to be watched…
- The Rescue Agreement of 1968.
- The Space Liability Convention of 1972.
- The Registration Convention of 1976.
- The Moon Treaty of 1979 failed to be ratified by any major space-faring nation such as those capable of orbital spaceflight.
- US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015
If it appears as if I find these Accords lacking….then I am doing a good job….and I am not alone in thinking this Accord thing is unimpressive…..
On 13 October 2020 the directors of NASA and seven other national space agencies signed the Artemis Accords, a document purporting to articulate international norms for the development of the Moon, Mars and other celestial objects of economic interest in the near future. International public opinion ignored the announcement and international elite opinion was underwhelmed. Yet, there are good reasons why so few outside the orbit of space policy experts took notice and many of those who did were unimpressed.
This is going to be interesting to watch (well interesting to me)…..some say I am spinning my blogging wheels with this issue….but to me it will be the next horizon for international relations……so I watch and write.
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“lego ergo scribo”