India has decided to join the Artemis Accords, which brings like-minded countries together on civil space exploration, and NASA and ISRO have agreed to a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024, the White House said on Thursday.
“On space, we will be able to announce that India is signing the Artemis Accords, which advance a common vision for space exploration for the benefit of all humankind,” a senior administration official said hours before the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
What are Artemis Accords?
In the world of space exploration, the Artemis Accords have emerged as a way for countries to work together in exploring the Moon. Named after NASA's Artemis program, these agreements aim to ensure that lunar exploration is sustainable and peaceful. They promote transparency, cooperation, and support among participating nations.
The Artemis Accords establish a common understanding and set of rules for activities on the Moon and beyond. Led by the United States, many countries have shown interest in joining and following the Accords' principles.
These principles include exploring space in a peaceful manner, being open about space activities, working together with different space systems, and preserving important sites and artifacts on the Moon. The Accords also emphasise sharing scientific data, registering space objects, and reducing space debris.
One important aspect of the Artemis Accords is international cooperation. Participating countries are encouraged to collaborate by sharing knowledge, resources, and scientific data. This helps everyone benefit from lunar exploration and promotes scientific progress.
Safety and sustainability of lunar activities
The Accords also prioritise the safety and sustainability of lunar activities. Countries are expected to ensure the safety of people and spacecraft and use space resources in a responsible way. This means taking steps to prevent space debris, using local resources on the Moon, and following safety guidelines.
Legal aspects are also covered by the Artemis Accords. They emphasise following existing international laws, like the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty. Countries are encouraged to create their own laws and regulations to govern their space activities in line with international norms.
The Artemis Accords aim to create a cooperative and responsible approach to lunar exploration. By providing clear guidelines, they encourage countries to work together for the benefit of everyone. They also pave the way for future missions and advancements in science.
While some countries have already shown support for the Artemis Accords, ongoing discussions will determine how more countries can participate. The Accords mark an important step toward a united global effort in exploring and using the Moon's resources. They inspire future generations and contribute to our understanding of space for the benefit of all people.