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NZ joins the Artemis Accords for peaceful space exploration

2 min read
space exploration

New Zealand joins the Artemis Accords, co-operating with NASA on an international arrangement for peaceful exploration and activity in outer space. 

The Artemis Accords were signed on 31 May 2021 by the Head of the New Zealand Space Agency at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Dr Peter Crabtree.  

Under the Artemis Accords, the country can now develop the ability to use space resources to enable the next phase of space exploration. 

“The Artemis Accords guide cooperation on space exploration, including support of NASA’s Artemis program to return humans to the Moon in 2024, and explore Mars and beyond,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said. 

“They set principles around the exploration of space, such as transparency, inter-operability, the release of scientific data, sustainable use of resources, safe disposal of debris, and prevention of harmful interference in other’s activities.” 

Minister Mahuta said New Zealand is committed to ensuring that the next phase of space exploration is conducted in a safe, sustainable and transparent manner and in full compliance with international law. 

The Artemis Accords is an important step in making sure that the extraction and use of space resources must be done within existing international law. The Accords also ensures that a multilateral process will be required to progress this issue. 

By signing the Accords, New Zealand will now be able to collaborate with all stakeholders across all space issues. The country’s government will also prioritise supporting firms that will make most of NZ’s international connections. 

“New Zealand’s participation in the Artemis Accords is a historic moment for our nation and our highly-regarded local space industry,” Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash said. 

“The Artemis Accords enable us to prepare for future economic and trade opportunities as well as meeting foreign policy objectives.” 

With the country’s space sector worth over $1.7 billion and its space manufacturing industry generating around $247 million per annum, the signing of the Artemis Accords will allow participation between the NZ Government and space sector companies.

“Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and many New Zealanders will remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 as grainy footage on black and white televisions. By signing the Artemis Accords, we can more easily be an active partner in the successor to the Apollo lunar program more than 50 years later,” Minister Nash said. 

More information on the Artemis Accords can be found on NASA’s website. Information about New Zealand’s oversight and regulation of space activities can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website. 


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