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India Joins Artemis Accords and Announces Joint Mission to ISS, Signaling Deeper Space Cooperation with the United States

NASA and ISRO Collaborate for a Historic Voyage to Foster Space Exploration and Expand Human Presence in the Outer Space.

Washington D.C., June 23:  In a significant stride towards advancing civil space exploration and fostering international cooperation, India has announced its decision to sign the Artemis Accords.

The White House confirmed the news on Thursday, revealing that NASA and ISRO have also agreed to embark on a joint mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024.

This landmark agreement between India and the United States signals a new era of collaboration in space exploration.

The Artemis Accords, a non-binding framework of principles, serve as a global guide for countries engaged in space exploration endeavors. Rooted in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (OST), the Accords aim to propel humanity’s voyage beyond Earth, with the ultimate goal of lunar exploration by 2025 and the subsequent exploration of Mars and other celestial bodies.

By joining the Accords, India aligns itself with the shared vision of utilizing space exploration for the collective betterment of humanity.

As an integral part of NASA’s ambitious Artemis program, which seeks to reestablish human presence on the Moon, the Accords play a pivotal role in shaping international cooperation in space exploration.

With the objective of establishing a sustained presence in lunar orbit and on the lunar surface, the program represents a historic milestone, reviving lunar missions over half a century since the conclusion of the Apollo era.

The Artemis Accords act as a multilateral framework, facilitating collaboration among nations engaged in space exploration.

By signing the Accords, India and the United States pledge to share crucial data, exchange technological expertise, and pool resources. This partnership will bolster efforts to ensure the safety, sustainability, and long-term viability of lunar exploration.

The inclusion of India in the Accords adds another significant participant to the growing list of countries committed to shaping the future of space exploration. Currently, 23 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Australia, have already joined the Accords.

The signing of this agreement represents a substantial step in establishing key principles of space law and could serve as a blueprint for future governance frameworks pertaining to human settlements on Mars and beyond.

India’s decision to join the Artemis Accords marks a shift from previous reservations. Concerns, including US-centricism, the absence of a universal consensus, potential dangers of space colonization, and the fear of fueling a space war, previously hindered India’s participation.

However, continuous dialogue and discussions between NASA and ISRO played a crucial role in addressing these concerns and fostering a closer partnership between the two space agencies.

The joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024 represents an exciting milestone in this burgeoning partnership. By entering into this new agreement, India and the United States aim to enhance cooperation, explore uncharted domains beyond Earth.

 

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