What is Artemis Accords?

1 min read
What is Artemis Accords? Blog Image


Sweden is the newest nation to sign onto NASA's Artemis Accords for peaceful and responsible exploration.

About Artemis Accords

  • The Artemis Accords are a non-binding set of principles designed to guide civil space exploration and use in the 21st century.
  • These principles will help to ensure the maintenance of a safe and predictable outer space environment.
  • Co-led by NASA and the U.S. Department of State, the Artemis Accords was established in 2020, together with seven other founding member nations (Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom).
  • As of April 2024, there were 38 signatories, including India.
  • Principles:
    • Peaceful uses: cooperative activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes and in accordance with international law.
    • Transparency: commit to broad dissemination of information regarding their national policies and exploration plans. Agree to sharescientific information with the public on a good-faith basis consistent with Article XI of the Outer Space Treaty (OST).
    • Interoperability: agree to develop infrastructure to common standards for space hardware and operating procedures that include fuel storage, landing systems, communication, power, and docking interfaces.
    • Emergency Assistance: commit to offering all reasonable efforts to render assistance and comply with the rescue and return agreement as outlined in the Outer Space Treaty.
    • Registration of Objects: registration of space objects (on the surface, in orbit or in space) by signatory nations can help to mitigate risk of harmful interference.
    • Release of Scientific Data: commit to the open sharing of scientific data arising from space exploration missions. Not mandatory for private-sector operations.
    • Preserving Outer Space Heritage: undertake to ensure new activities help preserve and do not undermine space heritage sites of historical significance.
    • Space Resources: signatories affirm that extractionof resources does not inherently constitute national appropriation under Article II of the Outer Space Treaty.
    • Deconfliction of Space Activities: undertake exploration with due consideration to the United Nations guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities as adopted by the UN Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in 2019. Activities, where potential harmful interference could occur, should be restricted to pre-identified ‘Safety Zones’. The size, location, and nature of operations in a Safety Zone should be notified to all signatories and the UN Secretary-General.
    • Orbital Debris: signatories agree to limit harmful debris in orbit through mission planning that includes selecting flight orbital profiles that minimise conjunction risk, minimising debris release during the operational phase, timely passivation, and end-of-life disposal.

Q1: What is the Outer Space Treaty (OST)?

Outer Space Treaty, also known as the Treaty on Principles Governing Activities in Outer Space, is a global agreement that lays the foundation for international space law which bans nuclear weapons in space, mandates the peaceful use of celestial bodies like the Moon, ensures open access to space for all nations, prohibits any nation from asserting ownership over outer space or celestial bodies.

Source: Sweden becomes 38th country to sign NASA's Artemis Accords for moon exploration