Artemis Accords for Ethical Lunar Exploration Signed by Greece

Greece has become the 35th country to join the Artemis Accords, an initiative led by the United States for establishing guidelines for space exploration. The Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis formalized Greece’s participation during a meeting at the United States Department of State on 9th February. The Artemis Accords, which were established by the United States in 2020, lay out principles for peaceful and responsible exploration of space, particularly in relation to NASA’s lunar Artemis program.

NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, welcomed Greece’s addition to the Artemis Accords, emphasizing the long-standing partnership between the United States and Greece. He expressed excitement about expanding this partnership into space, and shaping the future of space cooperation for the Artemis Generation.

The Artemis Accords serve as a guide for sustainable and peaceful exploration of space as humanity prepares to return to the moon and venture beyond it. The international agreement has garnered signatories from six of the world’s seven continents, with Antarctica being the only continent not represented due to its lack of government.

However, the Artemis Accords face competition from an alternative initiative led by China, the International Lunar Research Station Cooperation Organization (ILRSCO). This body aims to oversee the establishment of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) in the 2030s. Countries such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, and Venezuela have already joined this initiative.

The Artemis Accords build on the principles established by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. They reinforce best practices such as the public release of scientific data. Some of the major countries that have signed the Artemis Accords include Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. This international agreement is crucial in shaping the future of space exploration and ensuring peaceful and collaborative exploration of the cosmos.

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