Trump administration drafting 'Artemis Accords' pact for moon mining: Sources

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: May 07, 2020, 03.05 PM(IST)

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon (Image courtesy: NASA) Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

The agreement would be the latest effort to cultivate allies around NASA's plan to put humans and space stations on the moon within the next decade, and comes as the civilian space agency plays a growing role in implementing American foreign policy.

The Trump administration is drafting a legal blueprint for mining on the moon under a new US-sponsored international agreement called the 'Artemis Accords', according to people familiar with the proposed pact.

The agreement would be the latest effort to cultivate allies around NASA's plan to put humans and space stations on the moon within the next decade, and comes as the civilian space agency plays a growing role in implementing American foreign policy.

The draft pact has not been formally shared with US allies yet.

Also read: Bezos's Blue Origin and Musk's SpaceX to collaborate in building NASA's lunar lander

The trump administration and other space-faring countries see the moon as a key strategic asset in outer space.

The moon also has value for long-term scientific research that could enable future missions to Mar, activities that fall under a regime of international space law widely viewed as outdated.

Also read: NASA picks Masten Space Systems to deliver cargo to Moon's South Pole in 2022

The artemis accords, named after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's new Artemis Moon Program, propose "safety zones" that would surround future moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rival countries or companies operating in close proximity.

The pact also aims to provide a framework under international law for companies to own the resources they mine, the sources said.

In the coming weeks, US officials plan to formally negotiate the accords with space partners such as Canada, Japan, and European countries, as well as the United Arab emirates, opening talks with countries the Trump administration sees as having "like-minded" interests in lunar mining.

Russia, a major partner with nasa on the international space station, won't be an early partner in these accords, the sources said, as the pentagon increasingly views moscow as hostile for making ''threatening'' satellite maneuvers toward US spy satellites in earth orbit.

Read in App