CBC news: A new U.S.-led moon agreement that includes Canada and six other countries, could facilitate new missions to the moon, and even mining the moon and asteroids for profit. Critically, the accords don’t include the other major space-faring nations, including Russia and China. And two Canadian academics are concerned that this may violate the spirit of international space treaties by making the U.S. a “de facto gatekeeper to the moon.”  The agreements are called the Artemis Accords, and they’re subtitled “Principles for the cooperation in the civil exploration and use of the moon, Mars, comets and asteroids for peaceful purposes.” Designed around NASA’s Artemis program for returning to the moon, they outline how countries will conduct operations on the moon and include principles for regulating commercial activity such as
In a piece published in the prestigious journal Science, University of British Columbia astronomer Aaron Boley and political scientist Michael Byers argue that this U.S.-centric agreement could lead to runaway exploitation of lunar resources at the expense of science.
They also suggest that the Artemis Accords, which the U.S. is pursuing through bilateral negotiations, violate the spirit of existing international space treaties that have been pursued as multilateral agreements under the auspices of the United Nations.