Washington/Brasilia – Brazil signed the Artemis Accords, prepared with an initiative from the US space agency NASA. This agreement has provisions regarding the mineral wealth on the Moon and other commercial issues. Eleven countries had signed the deal so far, and Brazil became the 12th country to sign the agreement.
For the last few years, Russia and China are jointly making efforts to increase their influence in space, and the United States is trying to surpass them with this Artemis Accords initiative. In addition, NASA is planning a Moon mission in the next few years, including studying the mineral wealth on the Moon. Therefore, NASA has taken the Artemis Accords initiative to receive cooperation from other countries for this ambitious mission.
NASA has taken the basis of the Outer Space Treaty, signed in the year 1967, for this agreement. The Artemis Accords states that all the countries have an equal right to carry out research on any planets in space, including the Moon.
It is said that there are huge mineral deposits on Moon, Mars and the smaller planets in space. The United States, Europe and other countries are keen on this, and companies also have been formed for this exploration. These companies are consistently exerting pressure for permission for exploration and excavation of minerals.
Against this background, in 2020, the United States presented the concept of Artemis Accords. As a result, space institutions from eight countries, including the United States, signed the Artemis Accords in October 2020. These included the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxemburg, Italy and the United Arab Emirates. After that, in the following eight months, South Korea, New Zealand and Ukraine joined the agreement. Brazil became the 12th country globally and the first to join the deal from the Latin American continent.
NASA clarified that by signing this agreement, Brazil had given its consent to mineral exploration and other research. Science, Technology and Research Minister of Brazil, Marcos Pontes, signed the agreement on behalf of Brazil and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also was present at that time. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed the Brazilian participation.
Russia and China have already criticised the Artemis Accords prepared with an initiative of the United States. Both these countries have accused the United States of taking unilateral decisions in this matter.