Artemis Accords is a set of statements that outlines the general principles, guidelines and best practices applicable to the safe exploration of the Moon and ultimately beyond as humanity increases the duration of space missions and its reach to Mars.
While NASA is leading the Artemis program, which aims to usher in a new era of space exploration and send the first woman and man of color to the moon in 2024, international partnerships with numerous countries and private companies are vital to its success.
The purpose of the NASA-initiated agreements is to establish a common set of principles to ensure the responsible execution of missions under the Artemis mission umbrella.
Related: 10 best images of NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission
Under the leadership of NASA and the US State Department, the Artemis Accords are signed at the national, not the organizational level, and signatory countries do so on a voluntary basis.
“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and Artemis Accords is the vehicle that will create this unique global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in 2020. (will open in a new tab) when the contracts were signed. “With today’s signing, we are joining forces with our partners to explore the Moon and are setting vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful and prosperous future in space for all mankind.”
Origins of the Artemis Accords
(Image credit: NASA) (will open in a new tab)
One of the key principles of the Artemis Accords is the reaffirmation of the importance for nations to comply with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (or Treaty on Principles for the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, to give it its full name).
In addition, the agreements confirm the importance of the 1968 Rescue and Return Agreement, which emphasizes the responsibility of States for the safe return of astronauts and equipment to Earth, as well as further space-related policies such as the 1972 Liability Convention and the Convention on registration in 1975.
The Artemis Accords were first launched and signed by eight countries in October 2020, and representatives of the signatory countries met in person for the first time at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris on September 19, 2022.
In terms of scope, the agreements cover activities in orbit, on the surface and in the bowels of the Moon, Mars, comets and asteroids. It also covers stable orbital points, known as the Lagrange points for the Earth-Moon system, and applies to objects in transit between these celestial bodies and places.
What do Artemis Accords say?
In Artemis Chords document (will open in a new tab)NASA sets out the key principles of the Artemis Accords as follows:
Which countries participate in the Artemis Accords?
(Image credit: NASA) (will open in a new tab)
As of this writing, NASA reports that 23 countries have signed the Artemis Accord, including the US, UK, Japan, Italy, Canada, and Brazil. On December 13, 2022, at the American-African Space Forum held in Washington, DC, Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the agreements.
According to NASA (will open in a new tab) As of January 3, 2023, the countries that have signed the Artemis Accords are as follows:
- mexico city
- New Zealand
- The Republic of Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
The Artemis mission represents humanity’s next exciting step in space exploration with a focus on diversity. To read how the mission will go (will open in a new tab) visit the NASA Artemis website. Artemis is in many ways the natural successor to the Apollo program, which also brought humanity to the moon. Learn more about the Apollo missions with these NASA resources. (will open in a new tab). here.
Agreements of Artemis, [Accessed 01/03/23], [https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-accords/img/Artemis-Accords-signed-13Oct2020.pdf (opens in new tab)]
Artemis Accords, Artemis NASA, [Accessed 01/03/23], [https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis-accords/index.html (opens in new tab)
The Artemis Accords, Gov.co.uk, [Accessed 01/03/23]https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-artemis-accords (will open in a new tab)
Gateway Memorandum of Understanding and Artemis Agreements – Frequently Asked Questions, ESA, [Accessed 01/03/23]https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Gateway_MoU_and_Artemis_Accords_FAQs (will open in a new tab)
First Meeting of Artemis Accords Signatories, U.S. Department of State, [Accessed 01/03/23], [https://www.state.gov/first-meeting-of-artemis-accords-signatories (opens in new tab)]