KEY POINTS

  • NASA released a set of space guidelines known as the Artemis Accords 
  • The Artemis Accords is an agreement between NASA and its partners
  • The agreement will implement rules for safe space exploration 

As NASA prepares to return to the Moon and send a mission to Mars, the agency released a set of guidelines for activities in space. Known as the Artemis Accords, the agreement aims to establish a set of rules aimed at regulating the behavior of agencies and private companies in space.

The new agreement released by NASA was named after its new spaceflight program known as Artemis. Through new sets of missions under the Artemis program, NASA aims to explore space with its partner agencies and private companies.

Aside from agencies, NASA noted that the number of space launches by private firms is expected to increase. SpaceX, for instance, is looking to launch its first crewed flight into space later this month.

Due to the heightened human activity in space, NASA released the Artemis Accords, which will dictate how the agency’s partners will behave in space.

According to NASA, the purpose of the Artemis Accords is to ensure that everyone who will venture out into space will be able to do so peacefully.

“International space agencies that join NASA in the Artemis program will do so by executing bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, which will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy,” the agency stated in the agreement.

One of the key aspects of the Artemis Accords is establishing transparency, which means all of NASA’s partners will be required to register their space objects such as satellites, probes and landers. As noted by the agency, having a registry for all space objects will make it easier to monitor them.

Another key point of the agreement covers the protection of heritage sites and artifacts in space. This includes removing or at least minimizing the amount of debris left at landing sites.

“Protecting historic sites and artifacts will be just as important in space as it is here on Earth,” NASA explained. “Therefore, under Artemis Accords agreements, NASA and partner nations will commit to the protection of sites and artifacts with historic value.

xEMU
The new suit that will be worn on Artemis missions is called the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU for short. NASA
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