To the moon and beyond: The Artemis Accords and the evolution of space law.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In 2020 NASA announced a bold plan to return humans to the Moon by 2024 and to use the Moon as a base for crewed missions to Mars. The vision and
scope underpinning that plan represents a challenge not only to technological and scientific capability but also to existing understandings of international space law and invites a more detailed examination of key provisions of the UN Space Treaties. The Artemis project will rely significantly upon the involvement of commercial space operators and other states are invited through their respective space agencies to become part of the project. Involvement is however, contingent upon acceptance of and adherence to the ‘Artemis Accords’ reflecting ‘a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy’. This chapter will consider the principles underpinning the Artemis Accords in the context of international space law and address the particular points of tension generated by their terms, notably the rules applicable to space resource utilisation and questions of territoriality, through the application of the contested principle of ‘zones’. It concludes that merely tabling the Artemis Accords for consideration makes a valuable contribution to a much needed step forward in international space law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommercial and military uses of outer space
EditorsMelissa de Zwart, Stacey Henderson
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811589249
ISBN (Print)9789811589263, 9789811589232
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIssues in space
PublisherSpringer, Singapore


  • Moon
  • Artemis Accords
  • Space Law


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