New Zealand is the latest country to sign a lunar exploration agreement with the United States

New Zealand is the latest country to sign a lunar exploration agreement with the United States

On Monday (31) the New Zealand government announced that the country had joined the List of Artemis Accords (“Artemis Accords,” in literal translation), which outline good practices for space exploration activities. The country became the 11th country to enter the list and was the second to sign the document during President Joe Biden’s administration – the first was South Korea, which joined the accords on May 24.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson commented that “New Zealand, along with the other seven nations, helped establish the principles of the Artemis Accords,” which will enable the next generation of international partnerships to explore the moon and beyond. Stuart Nash, the country’s Minister of Economic and Regional Development, signed the agreement: “Space exploration increases our knowledge of our planet and the universe, encourages research, science and innovation, and New Zealand is proud to become a partner,” he said.

Dr. Peter Crabtree, Administrator of the New Zealand Space Agency, and Kevin Cover of the US Embassy at the Artemis Accords signing ceremony (Image: Reproduction/NASA)

The Artemis Agreements are part of NASA’s Artemis Program and set out a set of principles designed to guide cooperation between participating nations in lunar exploration. The document promotes that space resources must be used for safe and sustainable operations, and failure to do so constitutes “national ownership,” which is prohibited by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. New Zealand contributed to the drafting of the Artemis Agreements last year, and expressed interest in expanding the part of the document related to the use of space resources. .

So far, the country’s government has not outlined specific plans to participate in NASA’s Artemis program for lunar exploration – but, according to Nash, signing the document “facilitates New Zealand’s participation in the program and companies in the sector space.” By merging the document, New Zealand joins Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and the United States. Even Brazil signed an agreement of intent to participate in the Artemis program, with the aim of developing small robotic equipment, but our country has not yet signed the Artemis agreements on their final terms.

As NASA continues to work with international partners, other nations are expected to join the agreements in the coming months and years. Thus, by working with emerging space agencies, existing partners, and already consolidated space agencies, the US agency believes that partnerships should provide new capabilities that can benefit the entire world from the journey of space exploration and ongoing discoveries.

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Source: NASAAnd the space news

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