NZ joins Artemis Accords to co-operate with NASA on space exploration

“The Artemis Accords guide cooperation on space exploration, including support of NASA’s Artemis program to return humans to the Moon in 2024, and explore Mars and beyond,” said Nanaia Mahuta.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Wellington | Updated: 01-06-2021 09:52 IST | Created: 01-06-2021 09:52 IST
NZ joins Artemis Accords to co-operate with NASA on space exploration
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • New Zealand

New Zealand has joined an international arrangement to co-operate with NASA on peaceful exploration and activity in outer space.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash announced the government has agreed to join the Artemis Accords, launched by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and now signed by eleven nations.

"The Artemis Accords guide cooperation on space exploration, including support of NASA's Artemis program to return humans to the Moon in 2024, and explore Mars and beyond," said Nanaia Mahuta.

"They set principles around the exploration of space, such as transparency, inter-operability, the release of scientific data, sustainable use of resources, safe disposal of debris, and prevention of harmful interference in other's activities.

"As one of only a small number of states with space launch capability we take responsibilities of kaitiakitanga of the space environment seriously. New Zealand is committed to ensuring the next phase of space exploration is conducted in a safe, sustainable and transparent manner and in full compliance with international law.

"While existing international law provides high-level rules around the utilisation of resources, we see a need for additional rules or standards to ensure the conservation and long-term sustainability of these resources. The Artemis Accords are an important first step in that regard.

"The ability to use space resources such as minerals on the moon and other celestial bodies is critical to enable the next phase of space exploration, including the possibility of sending humans to Mars.

"New Zealand is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders across all space issues to ensure that the space environment will be available, and accessible, for the benefit of all, now and into the future," said Nanaia Mahuta.

"New Zealand's participation in the Artemis Accords is a historic moment for our nation and our highly-regarded local space industry," Stuart Nash said.

"The government's economic priorities include supporting firms to make the most of our international connections. The Artemis Accords enable us to prepare for future economic and trade opportunities as well as meeting foreign policy objectives.

"Our space sector is worth over $1.7 billion and our space manufacturing industry generates around $247 million per annum in revenue. Signing the Artemis Accords facilitates participation in the Artemis program by New Zealand and our space sector companies.

"NASA is explicitly seeking international collaboration and outsourcing key technology solutions to the private sector. Space exploration not only increases our knowledge of our planet and universe and encourages research, science and innovation, it also provides economic opportunities for New Zealand.

"Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and many New Zealanders will remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 as grainy footage on black and white televisions. By signing the Artemis Accords, we can more easily be an active partner in the successor to the Apollo lunar program more than 50 years later," Mr Nash said.

All applications to launch a satellite from New Zealand must first be approved under the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Act. Information about the oversight and regulation of space activities is here: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/space/

(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)

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