As NASA was releasing the Artemis Accords last week, Canada has been working towards finalizing an agreement with the US and other international partners for its participation in the Lunar Gateway.
The Artemis Accords, which were crafted by NASA with help from the US State Department, include 10 Principles for a Safe, Peaceful, and Prosperous Future and will require international partners to agree to the principles and sign bilateral agreements before they can participate in the Artemis program.
The Artemis program would see a human return to the moon and include building a gateway, a small staging outpost in cislunar space. Canada has already committed to participating in the Lunar Gateway portion of the Artemis program and would at a minimum contribute a robotic arm known as Canadarm 3 which would include new artificial intelligence capabilities.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) provided the following statement to SpaceQ when questioned on when Canada knew about the Artemis Accords and if negotiations on a bilateral agreement with the US were underway.
“We are actively collaborating with the U.S. and other international partners on space exploration missions like the International Space Station, and we are in the early stages of collaboration on the Lunar Gateway Mission. We are also preparing for potential roles in missions to the Lunar surface and Mars, by supporting the development and demonstration of lunar science and technologies through the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP).”
“All international space missions that Canada participates in are enabled through international agreements between partners. Canada, the U.S., and other partners are in the process of finalizing the agreements for the Lunar Gateway mission. Our collaboration on missions to the Lunar surface and Mars will also be enabled through agreements.”
“Canada will continue to work with the U.S. and other international partners to develop policies and guidelines for the peaceful exploration and use of space both bilaterally and in relevant multilateral fora such as the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.”
The CSA declined to comment on when they knew the US was going to propose the Artemis Accords.
Watch – An international perspective on the Artemis Accords
Earlier this week SpaceQ spoke with Dr. David Kendall about the implications of the Artemis Accord and the recent White House Executive order on the use of space resources. Dr. Kendall is a founding member of the Outer Space Institute at the University of British Columbia and was also the former Chair, United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and a former Director General of Space Science and Technology, Canadian Space Agency.