NASA’s goal of returning to the Moon is hugely spectacular! Still, the space agency is trying to update international cooperation protocols in outer space along the way.
The agency has just published a summary of the ‘Artemis Accords.’ They are a set of guidelines that require nations to team up, invite others to join the goal of exploration and improvement of the industry.
Need For Laws?
Space has no national affiliation or sovereignty, so it is lawless by definition.
Therefore, the accords are technically not laws, but rather protocols to facilitate space exploration.
Many nations have agreed upon following a set of treaties, as the spacial industry’s evolution is accelerating at an alarming pace, with activities like mining or colonization planned.
The text of the accords speaks of the importance of past sets of rules and conventions. Also, they introduced several new ones. Still, they are only described in a general manner today, as the rest of the details will be established during future conventions.
Jim Bridenstine also publicized the announcement of the new agreements on Twitter:
It’s a new dawn for space exploration! Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon. We go, together: https://t.co/MnnskOqSbU pic.twitter.com/aA3jJbzXv2
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 15, 2020
The statement describing the new rules is relatively short but easy to understand by the general audience. Here are some of the most significant changes introduced by the agreements.
Partners of NASA agree to:
Clearly describe plans and policies;
Publicly present relevant information of operations to avoid conflicts;
Use international standards or develop new standards if necessary;
Publish scientific data in an elaborated and timely manner;
Protect historical sites and artifacts, like the landing sites of the Apollo program.
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