back to article NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments

NASA has laid out a new set of principles that it hopes will inform how states and private companies will interact on the Moon. The new guidelines, called the Artemis Accords, seek "to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for the benefit of humanity". The …

  1. macjules Silver badge

    The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

    The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and thirteenth man on the Moon by 2024

    FTFY

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

      Even NASA have reverted to “next”

    2. poohbear

      Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

      "alleged" thirteenth man....

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

        There is no reasonable doubt about the first 12.

        I assert confidently that any other nation state managing the same would have crowed about it, therefore I am pretty confident there aren't any others.

        1. red floyd

          Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

          And the Russkies would have blown the lid off of it had it been faked.

    3. Charlie van Becelaere

      Re: The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man

      The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and thirteenth man on the Moon by 2024

      Nope. Buzz Aldrin is going again.

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    The Artemis program aims to put the first woman and second man on the Moon more money in Boeing's pockets by 2024.

    FTFY

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    According to the dictionary

    An accord is an agreement, the moment anyone who is exploiting resources to provide needed materials, finds something really valuable, someone will disagree.

    Particularly as the spirit of the accord is that nobody should claim property, they don't own what they are exracting, so theoretically anyone else can go and help themselves.

    Time to get a robot parrot and a Tri-corn helmet.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: According to the dictionary

      > The purpose of the Accords appears to be establishing a rough agreement [...] without having to make a formal treaty

      Given how much respect international treaties usually get when they oppose specific interests, those accords won't be worth the paper they're written on if somebody finds something of value up there...

      Even if most entities involved might respect them (as long as it doesn't cost them too much), there is bound to be some who will consider that the end justifies the means, and that they never actually agreed on anything which could diminish their profits.

      In space nobody hears your victims scream.

    2. Brangdon Bronze badge

      Re: nobody should claim property

      The Outer Space Treaty says you can own the resources you extract. You just can't claim an entire planet, moon or asteroid by landing on it and planting a flag.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: nobody should claim property

        > you can own the resources you extract

        That's all very fine, but they conveniently overlooked the extraction phase:

        Imagine you are mining a rich asteroid (to keep things small), you have built your mining base on it, and you're extracting "resources you can own". Swell.

        That's the kids' storybook version of space exploitation. Unfortunately reality will be a little different.

        Imagine an enterprising competitor who notices you. What do you think will happen? And who will you complain to when the charred remains of your former mining base slowly drift away into the void?

        We have already seen how this works: Great potential wealth + no laws always spells "might is right", and given the investments required, the gunslingers of tomorrow will be nation-states, who will take advantage of the lack of rules to take as much as they can from anybody who can't defend himself well enough.

  4. WonkoTheSane
    Trollface

    Has anyone told Donnie?

    That there's no oil on the moon.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Has anyone told Donnie?

      but what about the moon babes?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat-Women_of_the_Moon

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Has anyone told Donnie?

      There's no KNOWN oil on the moon. Oil does not require organic material to be formed; however, pools of dead dinosaurs work pretty well on Earth. But yeah lunar conditions do not match earth conditions for oil formation. This does not mean it is NOT there, and may suggest we wouldn't know how to find it (easily).

      (apparently lunar carbon is deposited by solar wind as part of the regolith, but to form oil, would need to be trapped deep below the surface along with hydrogen - making it unlikely but not impossible)

      Still I think Trump is just looking for a chance to advance further into space. It's been ~50 years that we've been "held back" from going past earth orbit, and it's time to just DO it. Again. Do something 'cool', or 'awesome', or 'inspiring', or even 'glorious'. Do something worth CELEBRATING! [it's like when your sports team wins the championship]

      I'm so tired of all of the PESSIMISM, that having some OPTIMISM keeps me from going COMPLETELY insane.

    3. Mahhn

      Re: Has anyone told Donnie?

      But there is a lot of Helium 3 (Movie Iron Sky)

      Much more valuable.

  5. Sanguma Bronze badge

    Oceanic fishing

    And Antarctic bases, and the like

    It's not all that different from those activities, in that nobody claims a trawler in the middle of the Atlantic or the Pacific or Indian Oceans needs to have its nation-state of origin claim sovereignty over the waters it fishes. It's also got some sanity that way - when any given site is several light-minutes away from Earth, the only way any given Earth Power could issue commands and expect to be obeyed is by taking over the CCC of any given spacecraft, or disabling and destroying it through DEWs like lasers or such.

    Be interesting to see if they "extend" the peaceable conflict resolution to Earth Orbit instead of having the braindead temerity of the Dubbya Regime and claiming it for the US.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Oceanic fishing

      It's also got some sanity that way - when any given site is several light-minutes away from Earth, the only way any given Earth Power could issue commands and expect to be obeyed is by taking over the CCC of any given spacecraft, or disabling and destroying it through DEWs like lasers or such

      Kinetic diplomacy can be fun, but the US would still have the option to pursue infringers in the US via the courts. So the usual raft of options to charge executives, levy fines, seize assets, deny launch clearances etc etc. Kind of assumes an agreement becomes at least US law while international treaties get wrangled. Plus there's the US Space Force and it's latest skunk-shuttle launched again the other day.

      Seems like an interesting field of law though, but can probably borrow from historical precedent, ie carving up Antarctica, or ways to resolve disputes between high jumping claim jumpers.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Oceanic fishing

        "Kinetic diplomacy can be fun, but the US would still have the option to pursue infringers in the US via the courts. So the usual raft of options to charge executives, levy fines, seize assets, deny launch clearances etc etc."

        Unless they are not a US entity and launch from somewhere else. Russia, Ukraine, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Cornwall, Scotland. Ore even a sea or air launch from anywhere in international waters/airspace.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Oceanic fishing

          Unless they are not a US entity and launch from somewhere else. Russia, Ukraine, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Cornwall, Scotland. Ore even a sea or air launch from anywhere in international waters/airspace.

          Not a problem, unless it's a state supported launch. Otherwise the US has never had any real problems pursuing assets or imposing sanctions on non-US entities. Even off-shoring is no escape, although a staple of SF writers. Could be fun to have an international launch site, but the UN's already got treaties to not recognise artificial islands/structures.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oceanic fishing

      good analogy. 'international waters' - space should be about the same.

  6. poohbear

    Will these agreements include "using the metric system" ?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Even the US do, even if they don't realise it...

      Veritasium.

      And therefore manage to screw up like:

      Everyday Astronaut.

  7. Alister Silver badge
    Headmaster

    such as end-of-life spacecrafts.

    You do know that the word spacecraft can be singular or plural, don't you?

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Spacecrafts?

      Basket weaving and macramé in zero gravity?

  8. Mike 137 Silver badge

    A key strategic asset

    "Many states see the Moon as a key strategic asset in outer space, and several companies, including NASA, have proposed mining rocket fuel from planets and asteroids."

    "Houston, the locust has landed".

  9. Nursing A Semi

    Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's space agency has criticised Washington for excluding Russia from early discussions about the space explorations act. "The principle of invasion is the same, whether it be the Moon or Iraq," he tweeted. or indeed Crimea?

  10. Gronk

    Will Dalotek Corporation sign the accord?

  11. Ochib
    Joke

    We're whalers on the moon,

    We carry a harpoon.

    But there ain't no whales

    So we tell tall tales

    And sing our whaling tune.

  12. Benchops

    Someone should tell

    Aardman Animations about this. Can't just go taking all the cheese!

  13. Homeboy

    The article says ".....that all activities will be conducted for peaceful purposes, per the tenants of the Outer Space Treaty."

    Does the agreement really say "tenants"?

    Surely "tenets"?

  14. IGotOut Silver badge

    Why bother?

    The current US government's record on sticking to treaties is not exactly reassuring.

  15. hoola Bronze badge

    Endless Greed

    Instead of trying to use what we have in a more sustainable way we are continuing spend insane amounts of money on pie-in-the-sky (literally) schemes to mine on asteroids and the moon.

    This just sums up how man is the smartest, most greedy and selfish being that has ever existed. Everything revolves round short-term monetary gains so a few corporations and their boards can make ever increasing amounts of profit to staff somewhere.

    Sorry, just feeling very cynical in the current situation.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here it comes...

    You think the moon is desolate now, just wait until they get through with it.

    These accords as the usual suit verbage they tell themselves while making plans to totally despoil somewhere.

  17. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Peaceful purposes ?

    How about spy satellites? Peaceful purpose?

    And is the control of predator drones via satellites regarded as a "peaceful purpose"?

    ISTM that if we were really serious about restricting space for only peaceful purposes, all military satellites should be banned completely. But of course the ideal is impossible to realize, because like a bread knife many things can be used for both peaceful and non-peaceful purposes so there is no distinct line. A satellite equipped with the ability to destroy large meteors that threaten the Earth could also (if rotated 180 degrees) be used to destroy a city on Earth ...

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