27th Signatory To The Artemis Accords : India
India became the 27th signatory to the Artemis Accords, a set of non-binding guidelines that underpin the Artemis programme, a U.S.-led project to return humans to the moon permanently.
- Artemis Accord named after the Greek Moon goddess, represents a comprehensive agreement drawn up by the US to bring together nations that share a common vision for civil space exploration.
- It serves as a framework for cooperation and collaboration in space exploration, building upon the foundation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
- The Artemis Accords were jointly launched by the United States Department of State and NASA on October 13, 2020, with seven partner countries, such as Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, UAE, and the UK.
- The Accords have been signed by 26 countries as of June 23, including the original eight.
- These include traditional US allies like Japan, Australia, the UK, France, and Canada, but also countries with relatively less developed space programmes like Colombia, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Mexico.
- The Artemis programme includes plans for a base on the lunar surface, multiple spacecraft to ferry humans and cargo, an orbiting space station, and a constellation of satellites to help with navigation and communication.
- The first Artemis crewed mission to the moon’s surface is likely in 2026.
- NASA is also keen to emphasise that the Artemis programme will take the first woman, and the “first person of colour”, to the moon.