Slovenia signs NASA's Artemis Accords for cooperative space exploration


NASA has added another country to its growing list of international partners committed to responsible moon exploration.

On Friday (April 19), Slovenia signed NASA’s Artemis Accords, becoming the 39th country to affirm their cooperation in future space endeavors to the moon and beyond.

“NASA welcomes Slovenia to the Artemis Accords,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “Today, the partnership between the United States and Slovenia crosses a new frontier. We live in a golden era of exploring the stars. That era will be written by nations that explore the cosmos openly, responsibly, and in peace.”

Related: Cooperation on the moon: Are the Artemis Accords enough?

The Accords establish key principles for guiding peaceful and responsible space exploration, in line with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. By reinforcing the commitment to scientific discovery, innovation and sustainability, the Accords set a standard for future missions, including NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts back to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17, in 1972.

Friday’s signing took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Offices. The Accords were signed by Matevž Frangež, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Tourism, and Sport, on behalf of Slovenia, which is the third European country to sign the Accords in less than a week, following closely behind Switzerland and Sweden on April 15 and 16, respectively.

“Slovenia joins the principles, values, and rules on the peaceful use of space as a common good of humanity,” Frangež said in the statement.

Rebecca Bresnik, Associate General Counsel for International and Space Law, along with her husband, Randy Bresnik, who is a NASA astronaut of Slovenian descent, Jamie L. Harpootlian, the United States ambassador to Slovenia, and Iztok Mirošič, the Slovenian Ambassador to the U.S., were also present for the signing.

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We are delighted to welcome Slovenia to the Artemis Accords family,” Harpootlian said in the statement. “We recognize Slovenia as a rising leader in space. We look forward to taking our collaborations with Slovenia on science, technology, and innovation to new frontiers.

The Artemis Accords were first established in 2020 by NASA and the U.S. State Department, alongside seven supporting countries. The list of signatory nations committed to cooperative space exploration has been growing ever since, with Belgium, Greece and Uruguay having signed earlier this year.



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