NASA has a plan to return to the Moon. But that is not all. The space agency also wants to modernize the international cooperation in space while they’re preparing to go to the Moon. We have learned about the “Artemis Accords,” which is a set of guidelines which invites nations to join in advance the exploration process.
Space has no law. So there are these “space laws” that are shared as being priorities. There are already many nations that take part in agreements and treaties, but the process of space exploration is much more than that.
The Artemis Accords show the importance of the old rules and conventions and also comes with new ones. The space agency talked about it in general, and they will probably release some more details in the following months.
Te statement from NASA shows the rules and the reason behind each rule. So NASA and the partner nations need to publicly describe their policies and plans, all in a transparent manner. Also, they should provide location and the nature of operations in order to create Safety Zones – they need to avoid conflicts. They also need to use international open standards and develop new standards if that is necessary. All the scientific data should be released, and they should protect sites and artifacts with historical value, such as the Apollo program landing sites – these ones don’t have real lawful protection. The nations should also Plan for the mitigation of orbital debris – timely disposal of end-of-life spacecraft.
Some of them are not explained entirely, and some might have trouble understanding it: what does transparent mean? What are the operations that need to be disclosed, and what is the timeline? But we did get the general point.
Right now, we are waiting for more information on this matter.