In a significant development in the realm of space cooperation, India has decided to join the Artemis Accords, the United States-led international agreement on civil space exploration. The announcement was made by the White House, coinciding with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US, during which both nations are expected to strengthen their bilateral ties in various sectors.
The Artemis Accords, a non-binding international agreement, are rooted in the principles of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The accord aims to provide guidance for civil space exploration and the sustainable utilization of space resources. As part of this collaboration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have also agreed to undertake a joint mission to the International Space Station next year.
The decision to join the Artemis Accords signifies India’s commitment to furthering space exploration endeavors for the collective benefit of humanity. It reinforces the peaceful use of outer space and sets forth principles and best practices to enhance the safety, transparency, and sustainability of space operations.
The Artemis program, led by NASA, seeks to return humans to the Moon and make history by landing the first woman and the first person of color on Earth’s natural satellite. The Artemis Accords have become imperative as the number of missions and operations around the Moon, undertaken by various countries and private enterprises, has significantly increased over the years.
The agreement governs the activities conducted by the civil space agencies of each signatory, encompassing operations on celestial bodies such as the Moon, Mars, comets, asteroids, and more. It promotes cooperation among nations, establishing mechanisms for transparency in space exploration, the sharing of scientific information, the development of interoperable infrastructure and standards, and the preservation of space heritage, among other guiding principles.
Launched in October 2020, the Artemis Accords initially included Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States as signatories. Since then, the agreement has garnered global support, and as of May 2023, there are 25 nations that have signed on to the accord.
India’s decision to join the Artemis Accords not only strengthens its collaboration with the United States but also highlights its commitment to advancing space exploration and fostering international cooperation in this pioneering field. The joint mission planned between NASA and ISRO to the International Space Station serves as a testament to the growing partnership between the two countries in the realm of space exploration.
As the Artemis Accords continue to gain momentum and expand their reach, the world is witnessing a collective endeavor to explore and understand the vast frontiers of space, while upholding the principles of peace, cooperation, and sustainability for the betterment of humanity.
Sources By Agencies