Published: Fri, October 16, 2020
Science | By

NASA sets rules for Artemis moon-landing program, prohibits 'littering' and 'secrecy'

NASA sets rules for Artemis moon-landing program, prohibits 'littering' and 'secrecy'

NASA says the United States, Australia and six other countries have signed accords that establish rules for space exploration.

Through this agreement, for the first time, the United Kingdom and Nasa will be able to collaborate on a series of missions to put humans back on the Moon, and also share equipment and data for research.

The principles of the Artemis Accords cover a number of aspects, including registration of space objects, release of scientific data, preserving heritage, interoperability and the commitment to plan for the safe disposal of debris. In response, the Outer Space Treaty was enacted in 1967, which ensured that space remained free for exploration and use by all nations, for peaceful purposes only.

"Fundamentally, the Artemis Accords will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions".

The signing was made during the International Astronautical Congress, but Russian Federation has not yet signed on, with CNN reporting that a Kremlin official said they feel the accords are still too "U.S. -centric".

According to the British newspaper "Daily Mail", British companies will be able to bid for contracts worth at least 18 million pounds to build aspects of the new station through the UK's partnership with the European Space Agency.

Canada has signed on to Artemis for the next 20 years, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told a virtual news conference Tuesday.

Russia's lack of involvement in the Gateway could see the end of the close cooperation seen by the two big space-faring nations on the ISS for the last two decades.

"We are operationalizing the Outer Space Treaty for the purposes of creating the broadest, most inclusive, largest coalition of human spaceflight in the history of humankind", Bridenstine said.

Principles in the agreement include peaceful exploration and transparency.

While NASA is leading the Artemis program, it has emphasized the need for worldwide partnerships in building up a sustainable presence on the Moon, something the agency views as key ahead of an eventual human mission to Mars.

The Accord builds on current global regulations, which exempt celestial bodies, including the moon, from national claims of ownership, and adds a provision for "safety zones" around future lunar bases.

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