As per White House announcement, India has decided to join the Artemis Accords, which brings like-minded countries together on civil space exploration. Also, NASA and ISRO have agreed to a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024.
GS II: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Artemis Accords
- Principles of Artemis Accords
- The Artemis Accords were established in 2020 as a set of guidelines and principles for international cooperation in space exploration to the Moon and Mars.
- They were initiated by the United States in collaboration with other nations and international partners.
- The primary objective of the Accords is to create a framework for peaceful and transparent space exploration, focusing on lunar activities associated with NASA’s Artemis program.
- The Artemis program is NASA’s initiative to send humans back to the Moon.
- It aims to achieve significant milestones, including landing the first woman and the first person of color on the lunar surface.
- The Artemis Accords do not possess the status of a legally binding treaty.
- Instead, they serve as a framework to foster cooperative efforts among participating nations involved in lunar exploration.
- As of May 2023, the Artemis Accords have been signed by 25 countries.
- The signatory nations include the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Bahrain, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Principles of Artemis Accords:
- Peaceful Purposes: All participating countries commit to conducting space activities exclusively for peaceful purposes, in accordance with relevant international laws.
- Transparency: Signatories are expected to be transparent about their national space policies and exploration plans.
- Common Infrastructure and Standards: Emphasis is placed on the development of common exploration infrastructure and standards. This includes areas such as fuel storage, landing structures, communications systems, and power systems.
- Assistance in Outer Space: Countries agree to provide assistance to astronauts and personnel in distress in outer space.
- Registration and Coordination: The Accords recognize the importance of registering relevant space objects according to the Registration Convention, enabling better coordination and information sharing.
- Preservation of Historic Sites: Nations are encouraged to preserve historically significant landing sites, artifacts, and other relevant cultural heritage.
- Space Resource Utilization: The Accords affirm the extraction and utilization of space resources, such as those from the Moon, Mars, comets, or asteroids, in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty. Ownership claims over extracted objects are not allowed.
- Safety Zones: Countries conducting Moon exploration are urged to establish safety zones to prevent harmful interference with the activities of other nations.
- Spacecraft Disposal and Debris Reduction: Signatories commit to the safe and timely disposal of spacecraft at the end of their missions. Efforts are made to reduce the generation of long-lived or harmful debris.
- India’s participation in the Artemis Accords signifies an increased level of cooperation between India and the United States in space exploration.
- It goes beyond the existing knowledge-sharing collaboration and establishes a framework for resource sharing and joint exploration efforts.
Lunar Mission Alignment:
- India’s plan to launch the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon aligns with the objectives of the Artemis program.
- Joining the Accords allows India to align its lunar exploration efforts with the broader international community and leverage the benefits of shared knowledge and resources.
Human Spaceflight Collaboration:
- The accord provides a platform for India to collaborate with NASA and other signatory countries on human spaceflight.
- As India trains its first batch of astronauts for the Gaganyaan mission, the Accords can facilitate the exchange of information and expertise, strengthening India’s capabilities in this domain.
Access to Information:
- Signing the agreement positions India as a major recipient of information from NASA’s Artemis missions.
- As NASA plans to send astronauts to the lunar surface, India’s participation ensures access to valuable data, research findings, and technological advancements.
Balance of Power in Space:
- With China emerging as a significant player in space exploration, India’s participation in the Artemis Accords helps maintain a balance of power in this domain.
- It allows India to actively engage in international space initiatives and collaborate with like-minded nations, including the United States, to shape the future of space exploration.
-Source: Indian express