A little more than a week after South Korea signed the Artemis Accords, NASA has announced that New Zealand is also on board with the commitment. According to the space agency, New Zealand Space Agency’s Dr. Peter Crabtree signed the Artemis Accords on May 31, only a week after the Republic of Korea, making it the 11th country to join.
The Artemis Accords is essentially a series of principles that were put together by eight nations, including New Zealand. NASA describes the accords as “simple, universal principles” that will help guide the future of lunar exploration and more. Among other things, the Artemis Accords cover “a practical set of principles” for the nations that will be part of NASA’s next-generation Moon exploration missions.
A number of countries had already signed the Artemis Accords, including Australia, the US, UK, UAE, Japan, Ukraine, Canada, Italy, and Luxembourg. South Korea was the first nation to sign the accords under the Biden administration and New Zealand quickly followed with its own commitment to the space exploration guide.
The Artemis Accords were established last year and are intended to “reinforce and implement” the Outer Space Treaty. The United States and the nations that partner with it for these missions agree to follow the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Registration Convention, and other rules that will result in things like the release of scientific data to the public.
Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s Economic and Regional Development Minister, said about the new agreement:
New Zealand’s participation in the Artemis Accords is an historic moment for our nation and our highly-regarded local space industry. Space exploration increases our knowledge of our planet and universe, encourages research, science and innovation, and New Zealand is proud to become a partner in the Artemis Accords.