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France signs US-led Artemis Accords on space exploration

France becomes 20th country to join multilateral pact governing how countries operate in space and on the moon

PARIS

France has signed the Artemis Accords, a US-led multilateral agreement governing how countries operate in space and on the moon, NASA and French space agency CNES announced on Wednesday.

CNES chief Philippe Baptiste signed the document at an event hosted by the French ambassador in Washington on Tuesday, marking NASA’s latest step toward establishing a semblance of order in how nations explore and act in space.

France is the seventh European country to sign onto the accords and the 20th overall since 2020.

The pact was launched by former US President Donald Trump’s administration two years ago as a diplomatic arm of Artemis, NASA’s signature space exploration program that aims to bring humans to the moon by 2025.

The Artemis Accords are a natural extension of NASA’s 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which was a way to bring the international community together in the space race as each country developed their individual capabilities.

The treaty was established “on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.”

“Welcome to the Artemis Accords, France!” NASA said on Twitter.

“Today, France becomes the 20th country to sign the Artemis Accords, committing to a peaceful and cooperative exploration of the Moon and beyond.”​​​​​​​

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