Fact Sheet: Artemis Accords – United for Peaceful Exploration of Deep Space

The Artemis Accords, led by NASA, describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.

  • The U.S. and its partners in the Artemis Program have set the goal of exploring the Moon and then traveling on to Mars.  We will go to the Moon safely and sustainably and while there, solve the pressing challenges of living and working on other celestial bodies.
  • The Artemis Partners intend to follow fundamental Principles to ensure safety and responsible behavior in outer space as we engage in this exciting journey, principles that are based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the international legal regime for outer space activities that have been established over the past 50-plus years.
  • During the Apollo program, also a product of the 1960s, international participation was limited.  In stark contrast, the U.S.-led Artemis Program will include a robust global coalition to explore the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.
  • As the Artemis Partners go forward to the Moon and beyond, it is vital that we understand how to apply and interpret the existing legal regime for outer space activities to new and exciting exploration and utilization activities on the lunar surface and throughout cislunar space.
  • Therefore, we are pleased to announce the Artemis Accords, developed to apply our longstanding commitment to safe and sustainable outer space activities to the needs and dynamic spirit of the Artemis Program.  The principles in these Accords will enable next-generation international partnerships for the exploration of the lunar surface and throughout all of cislunar space and beyond.
  • Future Artemis Program activities will vary depending on the partner and the particular project, but the Principles of the Artemis Accords will remain the same.

The Principles of the Artemis Accords

  • PEACEFUL PURPOSES:  International cooperation on Artemis is intended not only to bolster space exploration but to enhance peaceful relationships between nations.  Therefore, at the core of the Principles of the Artemis Accords is the requirement that all activities will be conducted for peaceful purposes and, as stated earlier, in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty.
  • TRANSPARENCY:  Transparency is a key principle for responsible civil space exploration and NASA has always taken care to publicly describe its policies and plans.  Artemis partner nations will be expected to uphold this principle by publicly describing their own policies and plans in a transparent manner.
  • INTEROPERABILITY:  Interoperability of systems is critical to ensure safe and robust space exploration.  The Principle of Interoperability calls for the U.S. and partner nations to utilize existing international standards, develop new standards when necessary, and strive to support interoperability.
  • EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE: Providing emergency assistance to those in need is a cornerstone of any responsible civil space program. Therefore, the Artemis Accords reinforce each partner’s commitment to the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
  • REGISTRATION OF SPACE OBJECTS: Registration is at the very core of creating a safe and sustainable environment in space to conduct public and private activities.  Without proper registration, coordination to avoid harmful interference and numerous other vital activities to ensure safety cannot take place.  This Principle reinforces the critical nature of registration and urges any Artemis partner which isn’t already a member of the Registration Convention to join as soon as possible.
  • RELEASE OF SCIENTIFIC DATA:  This Principle emphasizes a commitment to the timely and open sharing of scientific data to ensure that the entire world can benefit from the Artemis journey of exploration and discovery.
  • PRESERVING HERITAGE: Preserving historic sites and artifacts will be just as important in space as it is here on Earth.  Therefore, Artemis Accords signatories commit to the preservation of outer space heritage with historic value.
  • PACE RESOURCES:  The ability to extract and utilize resources on the Moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids will be critical to support safe and sustainable space exploration and development.  Space resource extraction and utilization under the Artemis Program will be conducted in compliance with the Outer Space Treaty.
  • DECONFLICTION OF ACTIVITIES: Avoiding harmful interference is a vital principle of the Outer Space Treaty which will be implemented by the Artemis Accords.
  • ORBITAL DEBRIS AND SPACECRAFT DISPOSAL:  Preserving a safe and sustainable environment in space is critical for both public and private activities.  Therefore, Artemis partners commit to plan for the mitigation of orbital debris.