WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight countries have signed an international lunar exploration agreement called Artemis AgreementsNASA announced Tuesday as the US space agency tries to formulate standards for building long-term settlements on the surface of the Moon.
The Agreements, Named after NASA Artemis The moon program aims to build on current international space law by creating “safety zones” surrounding the bases of the moon in the future to prevent conflict between nations operating there, and by allowing private companies to own the lunar resources they extract.
The United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates signed bilateral agreements during the annual space conference on Tuesday after months of talks in an American attempt to win allies as part of its plan to return. Astronauts to the moon by 2024.
“What we’re trying to do is create standards of behavior that every country can agree to,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein told reporters. Th said Agreements Consistent with the 1967 treaty which states that the Moon and other celestial bodies are exempt from national property claims.
“We are operationalizing the Outer Space Treaty for the purposes of creating the broadest and most comprehensive human spaceflight coalition in human history,” Bridenstein said.
The Trump administration and the governments of other countries far into the moon space is a strategic asset. The moon also has value for long-term scientific research that could enable future missions to Mars – activities that fall under the international space law regime that is widely seen as outdated.
In 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return humans to the moon by 2024 – cutting the agency’s previous schedule in half – and building a long-term human presence on the moon’s surface.
The NASA program, expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, will send robotic rovers to the surface of the moon before humans finally land. NASA is also planning to build the Moon Gate, a space station that orbits the Moon. The plans require that they be built by a mix of NASA contractors and international partners.
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