Artemis Accords Gain Two More Signatories

Artemis Accords Gain Two More Signatories

Peru and Slovakia signed the Artemis Accords today at NASA Headquarters, bringing the number of signatories up to 42. Countries from all six continents that have governments — Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America — have agreed to the U.S.-led non-binding principles for responsible behavior on the Moon, nine of them this year alone.

In welcoming Peru to the Artemis Accords family this morning, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called it “a giant leap forward” that “is a result of decades of work Peru has done to further its reach in the cosmos.”  The State Department noted that Peru and the United States “have a long history of working together on the global stage, and we applaud Peru’s decision to extend our collaboration to space exploration.”

Ambassador of Peru to the United States Alfredo Ferrero Diez Canseco, Peruvian Foreign Minister Javier González-Olaechea, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and United States Department of State Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer R. Littlejohn, pose for a photo during an Artemis Accords signing ceremony at NASA HQ, May 30, 2024, Photo credit: NASA/Keegan Barber

Peru’s foreign minister Javier González-Olaechea said that by joining the Accords his country “seeks not only to express a common vision with the other member countries but also to establish cooperation mechanisms with these countries, especially with the United States, to participate in activities of exploration and sustainable use of resources found in space, as well as to promote aerospace scientific development in our country.”

A few hours later, Slovakia signed. Nelson said:  “The United States and Slovakia share a deep understanding of the power of exploration. Through this new chapter in our nations’ partnership, we will further this global coalition to explore the cosmos openly, responsibly, in peace.”

Noting that NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, who visited the Moon twice as lunar module pilot for Apollo 10 and commander of Apollo 17, the final Apollo mission to land on the Moon, was of Slovak descent, the State Department commented: “As friends, partners, and allies, the United States and Slovakia have built a lasting relationship based on shared democratic values, economic prosperity, and close people-to-people ties. We are especially proud that our partnership extends beyond Earth’s boundaries, from Slovak descendant Eugene Cernan’s landing on the moon in 1972 to today’s historic signing.”

Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States Radovan Javorcik, Slovak Republic Minister of Education, Research, Development, and Youth Tomáš Drucker, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and United States Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Sonata Coulter pose for a photo during an Artemis Accords signing ceremony at NASA HQ, May 30, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Keegan Barber.

Tomáš Drucker, Slovakia’s Minister of Education, Research, Development, and Youth, explained that “Slovakia perceives the Artemis Accords as a great opportunity for this generation to positively define guidelines and principles for the responsible and sustainable exploration and use of outer space.”

Redwire’s Mike Gold, who was instrumental in developing the Accords when he was at NASA (2019-2021) and is often referred to as their “father,” told today he is “particularly excited to see the Artemis Accords continued expansion in South America. Peru will bring unique vision and diversity to the Accords family of nations.”  Noting Cernan’s lunar legacy, Gold said Slovakia is “honoring its heritage by becoming a part of an unprecedented global coalition to ensure that humanity’s future on the Moon is peaceful and prosperous.”

Credit: NASA

NASA recently gathered representatives of 24 of the Artemis Accords signatories for a workshop hosted by the Canadian Space Agency where they engaged in a tabletop exercise “centered on further defining and implementing key tenets.”

The Artemis Accords were opened for signature in 2020.The original eight signatories were: Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 10 core principles are: peaceful purposes, transparency, interoperability, emergency assistance, registration of space objects, release of scientific data, preserving outer space heritage, space resources, deconfliction of space activities, and orbital debris. They only apply to governments, not the commercial sector, and only to civil activities, not national security.

Renowned for his “Star Trek not Star Wars” motto, Gold enthused today that “the increasingly rapid growth of the Artemis Accords demonstrates a global belief in a better future for humanity in space.  During a time when we see so much conflict and pain in the world, Artemis provides a light that can show us a path toward a future full of wonder.”

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