NASA releases Artemis Accords for space exploration

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NASA releases Artemis Accords for space exploration
NASA releases Artemis Accords for space exploration

New Delhi : NASA has released a legal framework that needs to be followed by the countries and companies in space and on the moon. The document has been named Artemis Accords and includes the creation of “safety zones” around sites where mining and exploration would take place on the lunar surface.

The US space agency has plans to send humans on the moon by 2024, for the same the new legal framework will allow the companies to extract and use resources on the moon.

NASA is likely to make it compulsory to sign these accords as a requirement for allied countries to participate in its lunar exploration programme. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the proposed framework is in line with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits nations from laying claim to the moon and other celestial bodies. 

The accords already have run into resistance from the head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, who called them an invasion that would lead to another “Iraq or Afghanistan.”

NASA said it would be “premature to release” the accords ahead of sharing them with allied nations. But a copy obtained by The Washington Post said parties would be required to publicly release “the extent and general nature of operations taking place within” the safety zones “while taking into account appropriate protection of business confidential, national security, and export controlled information.”

NASA is hopeful that Russia, its longtime partner on the International Space Station, would be a signatory, Bridenstine said. The accords are just being rolled out, he said, and NASA would work with Russia, as well as many other countries.

“We encourage Russia to be a part of the Artemis accords,” Bridenstine said. “And we think it would be good for all the world to agree to the right approach to peacefully explore space.”