Sweden Joins Artemis Accords


  • Sweden and Slovenia became the 38th and 39th country respectively to sign the Artemis Accords.


  • The Artemis Accords are a set of principles and guidelines for international cooperation in space exploration.
  • They are not a legally binding instrument.
  • They were announced by NASA in 2020 and named after NASA’s Artemis program which is aimed at returning humans to the Moon by the mid-2020s.
  • The Accords mirror principles set out in 1967, as part of the Outer Space Treaty to help govern international cooperation space.
  • Members: Artemis Accords has 39 members including Australia, France, Germany, India, Japan, United Kingdom, United States of America etc.
  • India joined the Artemis Accords in 2023.
  • Russia and China are not part of the Artemis Accords.

Key Principles of the Artemis Accords

  • Peaceful Exploration of space: All activities conducted under the Artemis program must be carried out for peaceful purposes in accordance with international law.
  • Transparency: Signatory nations should conduct their activities in a transparent way. The accords state: “Artemis Accords signatories commit to the public release of scientific information, allowing the whole world to join us on the Artemis journey.”
  • Interoperability: Nations participating in the Artemis program should aim to develop and provide support for systems that can work in conjunction with existing infrastructure.
  • Emergency Assistance: Nations signing the Artemis Accords are committed to assisting astronauts and personnel in outer space who are in distress.
  • Registration of Space Objects: Nations participating in Artemis should determine which of them should register any relevant space object.
  • Preserving Heritage: Artemis Accords signatories have committed to preserving humanity’s outer space heritage such as human or robotic landing sites, artifacts, spacecraft, and other evidence of activity on other celestial bodies.
  • Space Resources: The accord signatories affirm that extracting and utilizing space resources from the celestial bodies listed, is vital to supporting safe and sustainable space exploration.
  • Deconfliction of Activities: Nations are committed to preventing harmful interference and exercising the principle of due regard. This also covers the establishment of “safety zones” with areas that can be established between countries and which can be ended when relevant operations cease.
  • Orbital Debris: Countries are committed to planning for the safe, timely and efficient disposal of debris as part of the mission planning process.
Activities under Artemis programme

– The initial three missions of the programme are Artemis-I, II and III.

– Under Artemis-I, NASA launched its spacecraft ‘Orion’ on its indigenously built super heavy-lift launch vehicle (SLS) directly to the moon on a single mission.

a. In 2022, the SLS carrying Orion commenced its first uncrewed integrated flight test.

– Artemis-2 programme will commence, with a crew of four astronauts onboard the SLS performing multiple manoeuvres on an expanding orbit around the Earth.

– Artemis-III, mission will witness the four-member crew land on the moon, conduct a week-long lunar exploration, perform a lunar flyby, and return to earth.

Significance of Artemis Accords for India

  • Collaboration between ISRO and NASA: NASA will provide advanced training to Indian Space Research
    Organization (ISRO) astronauts with the goal of launching a joint effort to the International Space Station.
  • Vision of Global Space Power: This agreement holds significant importance for India to establish itself as a global space power.
  • It will benefit space exploration ambitions under the new space policy mainly through international collaboration as all signatories to the accords commit to the open sharing of scientific data and assist each other in the efforts.
  • Technology Transfer: Artemis Accords could possibly liberalize some of those technology transfer hurdles that are there between the US and India.
  • India’s being the part of Artemis Accords highlights its dedication to global space cooperation and a keen interest in participating in lunar exploration missions.
  • This collaboration enables the sharing of knowledge and expertise, contributing to the advancement of scientific research, technological development, and the expansion of humanity’s presence in space.
  • International Cooperation: Now India is much more open to international collaborations and open to exploring uncharted territories.
  • It also opens up markets for Indian companies with all the other signatories of the Artemis Accord.