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posted by martyb on Saturday May 16 2020, @07:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the things-were-not-already-challenging-enough dept.

NASA's 'Artemis Accords' set forth new and old rules for outer space cooperation

NASA's plan to return to the Moon is ambitious enough on its own, but the agency is aiming to modernize international cooperation in space in the process. Today it published a summary of the "Artemis Accords," a new set of voluntary guidelines that partner nations and organizations are invited to join to advance the cause of exploration and industry globally.

Having no national affiliation or sovereignty of its own, space is by definition lawless. So these are not so much space laws as shared priorities given reasonably solid form. Many nations already take part in a variety of agreements and treaties, but the progress of space exploration (and soon, colonization and mining, among other things) has outpaced much of that structure. A fresh coat of paint is overdue and NASA has decided to take up the brush.

[...] First, the rules that could be considered new. NASA and partner nations agree to:

  • Publicly describe policies and plans in a transparent manner.
  • Publicly provide location and general nature of operations to create "Safety Zones" and avoid conflicts.
  • Use international open standards, develop new such standards if necessary and support interoperability as far as is practical.
  • Release scientific data publicly in a full and timely manner.
  • Protect sites and artifacts with historic value. (For example, Apollo program landing sites, which have no real lawful protection.)
  • Plan for the mitigation of orbital debris, including safe and timely disposal of end-of-life spacecraft.

Also at The Verge, Ars Technica, and Reuters.


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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:55AM (8 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:55AM (#995207) Journal
    How does the X-37B violate the Artemis Accords? It's not a policy or plan, much less a nontransparent description of same. I find Fusty and your insinuation bizarre - "transparency" is mentioned. Some red herring is secret (and of course, not transparent). Therefore?

    The Artemis Accord doesn't imply that every ones' secret toys must be outed.
  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday May 17 2020, @08:47PM (7 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 17 2020, @08:47PM (#995454)

    It's on the NASA site:

    Transparency is a key principle for responsible civil space exploration and NASA has always taken care to publicly describe its policies and plans.

    Artemis Accords partner nations will be required to uphold this principle by publicly describing their own policies and plans in a transparent manner.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday May 18 2020, @04:25AM (6 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @04:25AM (#995607) Journal
      I'll ask in a slightly different way. How does a secret military project violate the principle of "publicly describing their own policies and plans in a transparent manner"? For starters, it's not a policy or plan, much less a description of such. And I'm glossing over the military versus civilian thing.
      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday May 18 2020, @11:19PM (5 children)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @11:19PM (#996075)

        ...it's not a policy or plan...

        It's a project? Oh well, it doesn't count then.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:23AM (4 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:23AM (#996171) Journal
          That's pretty much my point. It could be indicative of some secret government policy. But what would that be? And as I've noted with such things before, the capacity to do something is a far cry from actually doing it.
          • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 19 2020, @07:06AM (3 children)

            by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @07:06AM (#996213)

            ...a far cry from actually doing it.

            Like launching a secret spaceplane?

            Because they just did that.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @08:05AM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @08:05AM (#996225) Journal

              Like launching a secret spaceplane?

              What's the policy or plan implications of that which don't meet the standards of the Artemis Accord?

              • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:39PM (1 child)

                by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:39PM (#996560)

                The secret bit.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday May 20 2020, @02:30AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 20 2020, @02:30AM (#996680) Journal
                  Again, it doesn't qualify. There's no way the US thinks that the Artemis Accords mean that participants should fully reveal their military projects (for example, there's a fair number of countries with spy satellites up there and private companies with their own projects). The whole idea would be a nonstarter, if it got pushed that far by some adventuresome sort.