WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight countries have signed an international lunar exploration pact called Artemis ConsentNASA announced on Tuesday as the U.S. space agency tried to set standards for building long-term settlements on the lunar surface.
The chords, named after NASA Artemis lunar program, seek to build on existing international space law by creating “safety zones”
The United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates signed bilateral agreements during an annual space conference on Tuesday after months of talks in an attempt by the United States to cultivate allies on its plan to return astronauts to the moon. 2024
“What we’re trying to do is set standards of conduct that any nation can agree to,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein told reporters. He said chords are in line with a 1967 treaty under which the moon and other celestial bodies are exempt from national property claims.
“We are implementing the Outer Space Treaty to create the broadest, most inclusive and largest coalition of human spaceflight in human history,” Bridenstein said.
The Trump administration and other space governments see the moon as a strategic asset. The moon is also valuable for long-term research that could enable future missions to Mars – activities that fall under a regime of international space law that is considered obsolete.
In 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence ordered NASA to bring people back to the moon by 2024 – halving the agency’s previous schedule – and building a long-term human presence on the lunar surface.
NASA’s program, which is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, will send robotic rovers to the surface of the moon before a possible human landing. NASA also plans to build a lunar gate, a space station that orbits the moon. The plans call for it to be built by a combination of NASA contractors and international partners.
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