According to the verge, a foreign media report,Eight countries, including the United States, have signed an international agreement called the Artemis accords, NASA announcedTo form what NASA calls a broad and diverse national alliance dedicated to standardizing lunar exploration.
NASA announced its intention to launch the Artemis agreement as early as May, after working with the State Department and the National Space Commission to propose a draft set of rules for exploring the moon. NASA is the name of the document
NASA issued draft agreements to other countries, and after receiving their comments, the agency produced final documents, including standards for lunar mining and how to deal with conflicts on the moon's surface. NASA director Jim bridenstine said the main goal was to put everyone on the same front in lunar exploration and avoid any international misunderstanding or conflict in the future. "When we think of the Artemis agreement, what we need to do is to establish a code of conduct that every country can agree to," bridenstine said in a press conference before the announcement.
The seven countries that signed the agreement with the United States are Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. NASA said it also communicated with other interested countries, but the seven countries were able to get through the inter agency process as quickly as possible. According to NASA, this means that more countries may soon sign agreements - even before the end of this year. "This first announcement is largely the beginning, not the end of the accession agreement," Mike gold, Acting Deputy Director of NASA's office of international and inter agency relations, said at the conference
Notably, there was no Russia on the original list and it was NASA's largest partner in human space and the International Space Station. Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's space program, has made it very clear that he is not a fan or NASA of the agreement
Long before the birth of the Artemis agreement, countries around the world have signed an important international agreement focusing on how to explore space. The agreement, known as the outer space treaty, entered into force in 1967, stipulating that the exploration of space should be a peaceful activity. It also said that countries should not place weapons of mass destruction in space and that countries should not make demands on other worlds.
However, the provisions of the outer space treaty are rather vague - which means there is a lot of room for interpretation of the various provisions. The goal of the Artemis agreement is to provide more clarity about the way the United States wants to explore the moon without going through a slow treaty making process. "We are doing this to be consistent with the outer space treaty," bridenstine said He added that NASA was trying to "create a dynamic that would allow the outer space treaty to be truly implemented."
A big thing NASA hope to make clear in the agreement is that countries can own and use resources from the moon. As a
This is an interpretation of the outer space treaty, but not everyone agrees. Last week, a pair of researchers wrote in science, calling on countries to voice their objections to the interpretation and that the United States should go through the UN treaty process to negotiate space mining. "NASA's action must be seen as what it is - a concerted strategic effort to re channel international space cooperation for the benefit of short-term U.S. commercial interests, with little consideration for the risks involved," the researchers wrote in science.
The agreement also outlines other things, such as
Another topic covered by the protocol is the concept of interoperability -- spacecraft should be designed and built in conjunction with hardware from around the world. This can be agreed even by States that have not signed the agreement. On Monday, Russia's Rogozin called for NASA design
In the final analysis, the Artemis agreement is still only a set of guidelines, without any clear implementation mechanism. If a country signs the agreement and violates one of its provisions, there are no practical consequences. However, bridenstine hopes that the participation of other countries will be sufficient to ensure that countries act in accordance with the agreement. "I think there is a lot of pressure that can be put on countries that choose to join the Artemis program but don't follow the rules," he said