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Australia signs NASA’s Artemis Accords

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Media release

14 October 2020

Australia is among the first partner countries to join NASA on international cooperation with the signing of the Artemis Accords.

The Artemis Accords are grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations. The Artemis Accords aim to increase the safety of operations, reduce uncertainty, and promote the sustainable and beneficial use of space.

At the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held virtually overnight, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that Australia will join NASA in going back to the Moon safely and sustainably through the signing of the Artemis Accords.

“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history,” Mr Bridenstine said. 

“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy.”

International partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon later this decade while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars.

Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency commented on the importance of this collaboration.

“We’re so proud that our agency, just two years old can stand shoulder to shoulder, with NASA and our counterparts from across the globe on the stage today to confirm our commitment to a safe, peaceful and prosperous future,” Dr Clark said.

“It’s through the principles of the Artemis Accords, that we share a collective interest in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes and to contribute to society and economic growth.”

In September 2019, the Hon, Scott Morrsion, Prime Minister, announced Australia’s partnership with NASA on its inspiring Moon to Mars space exploration program that will see astronauts land on the Moon by 2024 through the Artemis Program.

Anthony Murfett, Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency said Australia is now harnessing the best of our intellectual and innovative capabilities through our local Moon to Mars initiative.

“The Australian Government is investing $150 million for Australian businesses and researchers to join NASA’s endeavour, and investment here in Australia, and deliver key capabilities for missions through participation in international space supply chains.

“Given Australia’s capabilities in space communications, robotics and automation, Earth observation, space medicine as well as capabilities in the resources sector, Australia is ready to contribute its best ideas and knowhow to support the future of space exploration.”

Australia is committed to ensuring the safety and sustainability of space activities, and meeting our international obligations.

This signing today helps Australia advance space as a partner with NASA and international counterparts on the Artemis mission as we go forward to the Moon, on to Mars.

As Australia looks at economic recovery post-COVID, the Australian space industry will be an important enabler of other vital Australian industries.

Read more information on the Artemis Accords.

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