NASA has released a set of agreements called the “Artemis Accords” which it believes will help keep things civil in space.
Since there are so many governments and private companies looking to explore the Moon, these guidelines drawn up by NASA want to help maintain a robust presence on our lunar neighbour.
“With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space,” said NASA in a statement.
Most of the agreement is grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which looked to create guidelines about what countries can or can’t do in space.
The Accords include agreements to register space objects, share scientific data publicly, emergency assistance for distressed astronauts, and to protect historical space heritage.
Registering space objects is already happening, with 87% of all satellites, probes, landers and other launched space objects registered with the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space, according to Science Alert.
“Without proper registration, coordination to avoid harmful interference cannot take place,” the Accords read.
The heritage protection aspect is an interesting addition, as it seems to safeguard items already left on the Moon, such as the planted flag and first landing site.
“Protecting historic sites and artifacts will be just as important in space as it is here on Earth. Therefore, under Artemis Accords agreements, NASA and partner nations will commit to the protection of sites and artifacts with historic value,” the Accords state.
Read the Artemis Accords here.