In partnership with seven other nations, the United States signed an agreement on Tuesday designed to establish the principles that will guide cooperation among international participants in NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program. Rooted in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the principles laid out in the Artemis Accords include a commitment to peaceful exploration, transparency and interoperability among signatories, an agreement to render emergency assistance, preservation of space heritage and public release of scientific information. The Accords also outline benefits and responsibilities associated with extracting resources in space.
“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy.”
NASA’s Artemis program is aiming to land “the first woman and next man” on the Moon in 2024 with an eye toward a crewed mission to Mars. In addition to the U.S., the countries that signed the Artemis Accords (PDF) were Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The Accords will remain open for future signatories.