The Artemis Accords have been signed by France

The Artemis Accords are a global agreement reached by states involved in the Artemis Program, which is an American-led initiative to return humans to the Moon by 2025 with the ultimate goal of extending space exploration. France signed the Artemis Accords, which are spearheaded by the United States, on June 7, marking a long-awaited but crucial step in the drive to create best practices for long-term space exploration.

Philippe Baptiste, who is the president of the CNES, the French space agency, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson signed the Artemis Accords in a ceremony at the residence of the French ambassador here. CNES celebrated its 60th anniversary with a signing ceremony.

“The accomplishment of the International Space Station has inspired us, and we are now embarking on a new phase in human exploration,” Baptiste remarked during the occasion.

France is the 20th country to sign the Accords, which began in October 2020 with a core team of the US and seven other nations. The Accords were formed by the United States in an attempt to create norms of conduct on matters ranging from scientific data interchange to space resource utilization, building on the Outer Space Treaty as well as other agreements.

“These lay forth a foundation for peaceful space exploration, and they establish norms, principles, and objectives,” Nelson said at the ceremony, citing one of the Accords’ provisions, which calls for emergency help.

Last November, when Emmanuel Macron, the French President, met with Vice President Kamala Harris, France expressed interest in signing the Artemis Accords. Harris announced France’s intention to sign the Accords at a December discussion of the National Space Council but did not give a time frame.

After France signed the Accords on June 7, Harris tweeted, “I applaud France for reinforcing its commitment to peaceful, responsible, and sustainable exploration of space.”

Since their debut in 2020, a constant stream of countries has signed the Accords, including many non-traditional spacefaring nations like Bahrain and Colombia. In contrast, France is a prominent player in both the European Union and the European Space Agency and is among the top countries in both government and commercial space activity.

Industry sources say that signing the Accords helps debunk the myth that Europe is hesitant to join or even opposed to them. France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Romania are five of the twenty signatories of the treaty.

“Today’s signature signals a huge step forward for norms of behavior in general,” stated Mike Gold, who is the executive vice president in charge of the civil space and external affairs at Redwire as well as a former NASA official who supervised the drafting of the Accords. “France’s addition to the already strong Artemis Accords union of nations demonstrates a strong determination worldwide to respect and implement the ideals of the Outer Space Treaty as well as other international agreements.”

The Artemis Accords were not the only deal struck on June 7 between the two countries. At a separate event, NOAA, on behalf of the US, officially joined the Space Climate Observatory, which is a French-led project to share satellite data to monitor climate change.

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