Artemis Accords – Why This is Big For Indian Space Aspirat

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and the American space agency Nasa will sign the Artemis Accords during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States. The new agreement aims to boost cooperation between the two countries and explore the domain beyond the boundaries of Earth.

Grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the non-binding multilateral arrangement stipulates certain principles to guide civil space exploration and utilization in the 21st century. Among these are:

  • A pledge to not use outer space for military purposes.
  • A promise to cooperate in the safety of astronauts and other spacecraft.
  • An offer to share data.

The US and several other nations have already signed the agreement, with Ecuador recently joining the list of signatories. However, The move by India is likely to be transformative for the accords and the broader Artemis program. The reason is that the US-India collaboration is the first to incorporate the commercialization of lunar resources.

While earlier agreements declared that international governments are responsible for private companies’ activities in outer space, this is the first to acknowledge that private entities can also play a role in facilitating commercial activity on the Moon. The move will likely encourage entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to expand their businesses into lunar travel. This venture could make humans an interplanetary species.

Why is this big for Indian space aspirates?

While visions of the future of human spaceflight focus on the romantic facets of breaking through the final frontier, reality may be less spectacular. The world of the cosmos is a complex place, and as the tidal wave of privatization hits the sector, navigating the legal and regulatory minefield will be arduous.

As India’s government moves toward becoming a significant player in the global economy, the space sector will be a critical area for growth. The legal framework to support its ambitions in the industry is critical to its long-term success.

The signing of the Artemis Accords by the Indian and US agencies is just the beginning of what looks like a busy period for India’s space agency. The government has also recently announced plans to collaborate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to launch a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024. This will further strengthen India’s position as a powerhouse in human spaceflight and demonstrate that it is well on its way to establishing itself as a critical player in the burgeoning global space economy. In short, the new era of global competition in space has arrived. The question now is whether India can keep up with the big boys.

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