The Netherlands Joins the Artemis Accords

3rd Nov 2023
The Netherlands Joins the Artemis Accords

This week, the Netherlands became the 31st country to sign the Artemis Accords, during a ceremony in Washington. Dutch Ambassador Birgitta Tazelaar, Bill Nelson, and Netherlands Space Office director Harm van de Wetering were in attendance as the country committed to the space principles set out in the Artemis documentation.

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy was also in attendance along with Chirag Parik, the executive secretary of the U.S. National Space Council.

Bill Nelson said at the event: 

“NASA welcomes the Netherlands as the newest and 31st member of the Artemis Accords family,” and went on to point out the benefits of the collaboration. “It takes global leadership and cooperation to ensure the peaceful, transparent exploration of space for the Artemis Generation and beyond. As one of America’s oldest allies, NASA is proud to expand our partnership with the Netherlands and build a future defined by limitless opportunity and discovery.”

Artemis Accords aims

NASA explains some of the ambitions of the Artemis program as to “land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon, make new scientific discoveries, and explore more of the lunar surface than ever before for the benefit of all.”

The Artemis Accords were established in 2020 and continue to gain new members, with Iceland recently becoming the 30th member country. It is thought that there will be many more signatories in the coming months. 

The Artemis Accords build upon the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, modernising and strengthening the commitments and outlining many of the best practices for space travel. Signatories work together to discuss how the principles are implemented.

Harm van der Wetering explained the Netherlands commitment to the program: “NASA and the Netherlands have been strong partners in space from the early days of spaceflight. Pushing boundaries by technology brings new responsibilities. By signing the Artemis Accords, we underline the values we share in space, and we acknowledge we have a common responsibility,” he said. 

You can learn more about the Artemis Accords by reading NASA’s documentation.

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