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UAE signs NASA’s Artemis Accords for international space cooperation

Under the Artemis Accords, signatories agree to conduct all activities for peaceful purposes and to publicly and transparently describe their policies and plans.

The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) has signed NASA’s Artemis Accords at the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC), running between October 12 and 14, 2020.

The deal was signed during a virtual event hosted by NASA, which was attended by HE Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chair of the UAE Space Agency,  along with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the heads of the space agencies of Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

In May 2020, NASA announced the Artemis Accords, based on a shared vision for principles, grounded in the UN’s Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment that facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities.

The Accords aligns with the UAE’s long-term programmes to explore outer space and collaborate internationally on better understanding of our solar system.

In line with the principles outlined in the Artemis Accords, signatories agree to conduct all activities for peaceful purposes and to publicly and transparently describe their policies and plans. In complying with the open standard requirement, signatory nations strive for interoperability, ensure the provision of emergency assistance, register space objects to help avoid harmful interference, release scientific data publicly, and endeavour to protect sites and artefacts of historic value.

Furthermore, signatories to the Accords agree to extract and use space resources in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty and provide public information about the location and nature of operations, while also working to deconflict where necessary and mitigate orbital debris.

Speaking on this partnership, Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri said: “We welcome this initiative NASA has taken to strengthen the broad principles of peaceful human exploration and co-existence in space. As a peaceful space fairing nation, the UAE is pleased to become a signatory of the Artemis Accords, and our endorsement of this agreement is in keeping with our principle of the peaceful use and exploration of outer space to enhance development and sustainability goals here on Earth. It highlights the UAEs efforts to collaborate with the global community to establish new and improved principles and frameworks that strengthen international laws for space exploration, as we firmly believe that the advancement and diversification of the space sector require the concerted efforts of all global players.”

Al Amiri added: “The UAE has always been a proponent of international collaboration, and we have benefited from many partnerships as we have evolved our own space program. We also make effective contributions to international efforts, to push the boundaries in our shared human knowledge and understanding of our universe. We are one human race and we are in this together.”

“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “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.”