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  1. #1
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    USA’s Artemis Accords

    Reading the article, it seems the accord has to be led by USA. Can not see China or Russia agreeing to it.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4009/1

    On May 15, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine presented the critical points of The Artemis Accords Principles for a Safe, Peaceful, and Prosperous Future (the Artemis Accords) publicly (see “What’s in a name when it comes to an ‘accord’?”, The Space Review, July 13, 2020). The Artemis Accords attempt to clarify basic principles and rule frameworks in international law for the sake of lunar activities which are led by the US, and then to influence and promote the international community to reach a consensus on the legality of space resources activities. It shows that the US carries on the rationale of the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015, along with the Presidential Decree No.13914, and continues to promote the construction of legal and political certainties on space resource activities. In this way, more countries will be attracted to participate in not just the Artemis program, but also future space resources activities on other celestial bodies, such as extracting and utilizing resources on Mars or asteroids. This will have a certain impact not just on the nature of space activities and the relations between spacefaring countries, but also on the discussion of relevant international rules. The main question to be discussed here is whether it will bring to a united space law or a divided one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Reading the article, it seems the accord has to be led by USA. Can not see China or Russia agreeing to it.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4009/1
    I think the writer should use shorter sentences to disambiguate for biased readers.

    "...for the sake of lunar activities which are led by the US".

    LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Reading the article, it seems the accord has to be led by USA. Can not see China or Russia agreeing to it.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4009/1
    Yes its an accord designed to cover the activities of the US and its partners under the Artemis program, who else would be leading it? Perhaps you should read the articles you link in a little more detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Reading the article, it seems the accord has to be led by USA. Can not see China or Russia agreeing to it.

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4009/1
    Why would Russia or China need to agree with it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Why would Russia or China need to agree with it?
    It is supposed to work within the framework of the Outer Space Treaty but it seems to want to replace it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It is supposed to work within the framework of the Outer Space Treaty but it seems to want to replace it.
    ??? It's not applicable to the whole world, and it says so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    ??? It's not applicable to the whole world, and it says so.
    It has to fit into the Outer Space Treaty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It has to fit into the Outer Space Treaty.
    OK. And if it does not, then what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    It is supposed to work within the framework of the Outer Space Treaty but it seems to want to replace it.
    I'm not sure if "replace it" is the right term. It seems that it is an attempt to go beyond the Outer Space Treaty but in a way that does not violate the treaty. Specifically, I think that the Outer Space Treaty does not clearly state the status of things like mining resources in space. I think that it specifies that countries cannot own outer space bodies, and specifies that spaceships belong to whoever launched them even when they are in space, but I don't think it has clear guidance on the ownership of moon rocks, for example. So I think the Artemis Accords are an attempt to create an international consensus that space mining is legal, and that in the typical fashion of the current US administration, the US is trying to do it not through a new international treaty but by getting a consensus among its allies.
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    Since everyone seems to be getting on selvaarchi's case about this, I would just kind of wonder, the original statements:

    Reading the article, it seems the accord has to be led by USA. Can not see China or Russia agreeing to it.
    It is supposed to work within the framework of the Outer Space Treaty but it seems to want to replace it.
    Are those really wrong? They seem fairly OK. I mean, my reading of it is that the eventual aim seems to be to replace the Outer Space Treaty.

    An article by Reuters has this quote from a US official:

    The Artemis Accords are part of the Trump administration’s plan to forgo the treaty process at the United Nations and instead reach agreement with “like-minded nations,” partly because a treaty process would take too long and working with non-spacefaring states would be unproductive, a senior administration official told Reuters.
    Are people really disagreeing with that initial point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Since everyone seems to be getting on selvaarchi's case about this, I would just kind of wonder, the original statements:





    Are those really wrong? They seem fairly OK. I mean, my reading of it is that the eventual aim seems to be to replace the Outer Space Treaty.

    An article by Reuters has this quote from a US official:



    Are people really disagreeing with that initial point?
    I'm just asking questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm just asking questions.
    Sorry, I should have used a quote, because although yours was the last question before mine, in fact I was responding to the post before it, and specifically to the quote:

    you start the thread by misinterpreting an article and you morph into the same misrepresentation against those pointing out your original mistake.
    But also, I hope I'm not being unfair, but I interpreted your questions as being what is called the Socratic Method, I'm not sure how well known it is. It is a way to make an argument by asking questions of the other person. And that's not meant as a criticism--the Socratic Method is often a very good way to clarify a point, so I'm not knocking it.

    For example, asking the about whether the Outer Space Treaty is enforceable seems to me to be making the valid point that international law is by its nature not enforceable, but I'm not sure where you are trying to go with that. Implicitly you are making the argument that the Artemis Accords are a positive development because international law is ineffective? If that's so, I think it's fine to state it.

    Also, just about the whole issue, I think that the points made by Garrison are very well thought out and constructive, as they really get into the actual issue about what the Accords are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Implicitly you are making the argument that the Artemis Accords are a positive development because international law is ineffective? If that's so, I think it's fine to state it.
    It's not so. I'm asking what are the implications if Selvaarchi's statements are in fact the case.
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    Another article on the same subject.

    "Outdated treaties won’t stop the rush to control resources in space"

    https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/ou...rces-in-space/

    The 2019 movie Ad Astra had a US military base on the moon and a memorable battle scene involving a moon rover, implying that by late this century the moon will be heavily militarised. A question now being discussed in space policy circles is whether fact will follow science fiction, as the US Space Force considers exactly what its role will be. It has some pretty ambitious ideas, and a recent report indicates that its thinking will be shaped by a deep astrostrategic perspective.

    So it wasn’t much of a surprise when news emerged that a group of US Air Force Academy cadets are researching the idea of military bases on the lunar surface. The academy’s Institute for Applied Space Policy and Strategy has a ‘military on the moon’ research team that was set up ‘to evaluate the possibility and necessity of a sustained United States presence on the lunar surface’. The focus seems to be on a military base, though there’s little information on exactly what they’re planning.

    But the very notion of a military base on the moon has the space law community understandably seeing red.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Another article on the same subject.

    "Outdated treaties won’t stop the rush to control resources in space"

    https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/ou...rces-in-space/
    So speculation based on a movie is the best you have and you think the situation will somehow be improved by the likes of China and Russia refusing to negotiate an updated treaty? Really would be simpler to admit you misread the original article you know.

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    Yet another article from the Space Review - "Outer space needs private law"

    https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4015/1

    The Cold War is back, and it’s headed into orbit. American tensions with China and Russia are escalating, especially since Russia’s suspected anti-satellite weapons test. The stakes are nothing less than a peaceful future in space. Operations in orbit and beyond require extraordinary precision and certainty. Any conflict can seriously hinder operational efficiency for both governments and businesses. Fortunately, there’s a solution that can benefit all parties: Giving private law a major role in ordering the cosmos.

    Undoubtedly, space must be governed. But governance is not the same thing as government. The virtue of private law—a body of rules grounded on consensual practices, rather than sovereign authority—is that it can lay the foundations for future space activities, without sparking a governmental scramble to project power. Where the reach of the state ends, private governance begins. It’s worked many times on Earth, and it can work in space.
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    THE DIPLOMAT carries the following article in its latest issue - "What Does China Think About NASA’s Artemis Accords?"

    https://thediplomat.com/2020/09/what...temis-accords/

    In May 2020, NASA announced a sweeping new set of principles designed to safeguard the use of outer space titled the Artemis Accords. Seeking to ensure transparency and peace in outer space, facilitate international cooperation, and encourage sustainable lunar resource extraction, the Accords “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.” These principles also include requirements that space activities are interoperable, scientific data is shared, nations commit to providing emergency assistance, and that historical sites are preserved as artifacts.

    In contrast to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) and the 1979 Moon Agreement, the Artemis Accords are not a new multilateral treaty, but principles that build upon the legal foundations set by the OST. Moreover, NASA intends to enshrine these principles with partner nations through the process of bilateral cooperation and general state practice. In other words, the act of nations accepting these principles through their cooperative ventures with the United States will help calcify norms into international law, even without a legal instrument.

    However, the purportedly noble goals of the Accords have not evaded skepticism among some spacefaring nations, particularly the People’s Republic of China.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    THE DIPLOMAT carries the following article in its latest issue - "What Does China Think About NASA’s Artemis Accords?"

    https://thediplomat.com/2020/09/what...temis-accords/
    Again China's opinion is irrelevant since the Accords would only apply to the USA and its partners, why do you continue to pretend this has anything to do with the OST?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Again China's opinion is irrelevant since the Accords would only apply to the USA and its partners, why do you continue to pretend this has anything to do with the OST?
    I’m afraid I disagree. I just read an article in Ars Technica, which quotes NASA officials as saying that China will be invited to join and that at some level this is an attempt to make a better regime that China will be expected to follow. As they have an interest in space exploration, it seems natural to me that they would be interested.


    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...s-to-the-moon/


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I’m afraid I disagree. I just read an article in Ars Technica, which quotes NASA officials as saying that China will be invited to join and that at some level this is an attempt to make a better regime that China will be expected to follow. As they have an interest in space exploration, it seems natural to me that they would be interested.


    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...s-to-the-moon/


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    Yeah let's quote the relevant section of the article on China:

    In some ways, the agreements appear to be an effort to differentiate a Western model of exploration from that of China—which is not transparent about much of its exploration plans and has a mixed record of sharing data from its research activities. There is also rising concern about debris from Chinese rocket launches, including the reentry Monday of large pieces from a Long March 5B booster that came down in Africa but could just as easily have landed in the United States.

    Although China will be invited to join the Artemis Accords, NASA officials said it or any other country would have to respect the safety of people on Earth.

    “The empty core stage of the Long March 5B, weighing nearly 20 tons, was in an uncontrolled free fall along a path that carried it over Los Angeles and other densely populated areas," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told Ars on Friday morning. "I can think of no better example of why we need the Artemis Accords. It’s vital for the U.S. to lead and establish norms of behavior against such irresponsible activities. Space exploration should inspire hope and wonder, not fear and danger.”
    And that's not even discussing their habit of dumping rockets full of toxic chemicals all over the countryside:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020...-orange-cloud/

    So don't you think that maybe China should raise its standards so it could join the accord?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post

    So don't you think that maybe China should raise its standards so it could join the accord?
    I absolutely do think that China should raise its standards. Actually, if the accord can become something internationally important, with the membership of Russia and China, then I will be very happy. Therefore, it is something that they should be interested in, and their opinions are important, as are those of US allies in Europe who will also be asked to join the Accord. I realize this isn't really directed as you, but someone else said that the opinion of Kim Kardashian is as important. Nobody is expecting her to join, and she is not even involved in space exploration. I hope that we can agree that this is something that China should be interested in, and which hopefully will lead to improved Chinese practices.
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    What does Kim Kardashian West think of the Artemis Accords? Just as applicable!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    What does Kim Kardashian West think of the Artemis Accords? Just as applicable!
    Do you really believe that or are you just saying that to ridicule? What do you think of the article I just posted a link to?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    What does Kim Kardashian West think of the Artemis Accords? Just as applicable!
    This is already a tumultuous thread; let's not make it worse with snide comments.
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    I mean, I may have posted this before, but this article from Reuter’s makes it seem like this is something controversial and that they expect reactions from Russia and China.


    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN22H2SB


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I mean, I may have posted this before, but this article from Reuter’s makes it seem like this is something controversial and that they expect reactions from Russia and China.


    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN22H2SB


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    Courting controversy is kind of the signature move of this administration.

    The article mentions Russia as specifically not involved. No mention is made of China; the nations desired for membership were listed, and as far as I know there was no intention at all of attempts to recruit either Russia or China to the Accords.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Courting controversy is kind of the signature move of this administration.

    The article mentions Russia as specifically not involved. No mention is made of China; the nations desired for membership were listed, and as far as I know there was no intention at all of attempts to recruit either Russia or China to the Accords.
    Just quoting from NASA's page on the Accords:

    With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.

    International space agencies that join NASA in the Artemis program will do so by executing bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, which will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.
    Nothing there seems to be limiting the accords to a specific number of countries. My understanding actually is that NASA has not started negotiating the specifics with partners, but probably under the surface there are already talks ongoing. But since the first sentence mentions "numerous" countries and mentions the need for "a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space" it seems to me it is pretty open-ended about participation. We can speculate about whether China might eventually join and whether they could improve their practices, but since it deals with exploitation of space, it seems something that concerns China even if initially China will not be a member.
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    I'm still not sure how China got into the discussion in the first place. Despite the thread title we still have talked very little about the Accords themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm still not sure how China got into the discussion in the first place. Despite the thread title we still have talked very little about the Accords themselves.
    I’ve seen such different views stated about the accords and so little has happened regarding them so far, I don’t really see the point in discussing them now. If much lower cost access to space happens, and I expect it will, we’re going to need to move beyond the outer space treaty. But that will probably involve new treaties.

    I am very happy the US didn’t sign the Moon treaty, though. That really would have hampered development in space. Among the space capable nations, I think France is the only one who did. That might put a crimp in any agreement with the ESA (I don’t know how it would work given it wouldn’t affect most of the ESA member nations).

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    We started with "The Artemis Accords attempt to clarify basic principles and rule frameworks in international law for the sake of lunar activities which are led by the US, and then to influence and promote the international community to reach a consensus on the legality of space resources activities."

    What time frame are we looking at? We will not have a human landing on the moon for another 4 years. That too only if Congress releases the money. More realistically I would put it as late 2020s. Then we need to build at least one base to support the exploration of resources. Add another 5 to 10 years for that. R&D effort to build equipment to explore and then extract the resources will take ..... Having got the resources, do we refine it in place or transport to another place for the refining. This will require infrastructure to be built and operated. This will require equipment that can operate in space/moon with all the maintenance that goes with it. We are at least looking at a period of 40 to a 100 years from now to realize it.

    In the mean time we can discuses the issues related to it. Here is another op-ed from spacenews - "Celestial property rights: How we can achieve a new, commerce-fueled space age"

    https://spacenews.com/op-ed-celestia...led-space-age/

    The United States is on the verge of a new space age. Despite civil unrest and the continuing pandemic, the future for space exploration and development looks bright. Provided we successfully navigate the legal and economic challenges, the benefits for humanity can be enormous.

    Both the public and private sectors recently made bold moves. NASA announced the Artemis Accords, a series of agreements with other spacefaring nations to create shared procedures and standards for future space missions. Not long after, two NASA astronauts rode a SpaceX rocket into orbit, and aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, successfully reached the International Space Station. These events portend a new epoch of space exploration. But unlike the previous era, which was almost entirely government-driven, the era before us needs the entrepreneurial dynamism of for-profit companies. The public sector will set the vision. The private sector will achieve it.

    Yet there are significant difficulties. One of the largest hurdles is coming up with a set of legal rules for governing behavior in outer space. Especially as investors consider lucrative celestial activities like asteroid mining, we need to answer the question: who owns what in space?
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