IN A decision that will bring the two countries’ space programmes closer than ever before, India on Thursday announced its decision to sign the Artemis Accords, a US-led alliance seeking to facilitate international collaboration in planetary exploration and research.
In a related development, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will partner the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in sending a joint mission to the International Space Station, a permanent laboratory in space, next year. It was not immediately clear whether the joint mission would include an Indian astronaut to the space station.
The Artemis Accords, established by the US and seven partner countries in October 2020, are a set of 13 principles that seek to promote peaceful and cooperative exploration of space. The signatory countries agree to abide by these principles that are mostly a reiteration of established international law on space exploration, like a commitment not to use space for military purposes, a promise to cooperate on matters of safety of space assets and astronauts, and a willingness to share scientific data from space missions.