New Zealand signs space agreement with NASA

New Zealand has become the latest country to sign “space agreement with NASA” with the objective of boosting nascent space industry of New Zealand.

Key Points

  • New Zealand is the eleventh signatory to Artemis Accords.
  • Artemis Accords is a blueprint for space cooperation and supporting NASA’s plan to return humans to moon by 2024. It also supports NASA’s plan of launching historic human mission to Mars.

Why New Zealand signed the accord?

New Zealand wants to ensure, future space exploration is conducted in a safe, sustainable and transparent manner in accordance with international law. New Zealand is also interested in ensuring that minerals taken from moon or elsewhere in space are used sustainably.

New Zealand Space industry

California-based company Rocket Lab started commercial launches for New Zealand in 2018. Company specializes in putting small satellites into orbit. It made history in 2017 by launching test rocket into space from remote Mahia Peninsula.

Artemis Accords

Artemis accords are an international agreement and American-led effort which seeks to relaunch humans to Moon by 2024. Agreement was signed by governments participating in Artemis programme with the objective of expanding and deepening space exploration. It was drafted under the aegis of NASA. It provides a framework for cooperation in civil exploration and peaceful use of Mars, Moon and other astronomical objects.  The accord was signed in October 13, 2020.

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