NASA is hopeful that a new international alliance will accelerate its return to the moon on January 14, 2023, at 6:00 a.m. EST (Video: Comment by Jose Berrio for The Washington Post: Saudi Arabia does not have a well-known space race program. It has only recently established a space agency. It claims to have only one astronaut and has never launched a rocket: Sultan bin Salman Al Saud was a member of the Saudi royal family who traveled in 1985 aboard the space shuttle.

However, Saudi Arabia has joined NASA’s moon program, which aims to explore the lunar surface and is part of a massive diplomatic effort led by the United States to form a broad international coalition in space, even with nations that have little or no experience in space or, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, have strained ties to the United States.

Since the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the accords may be the most ambitious international space race policy initiative.

However, the agreements are meant to accomplish far more. They are designed to build a space alliance that would make it possible for the United States to finally go back to the moon and establish a permanent presence there. This would be a crucial step in what some people think is a space race with China. Under the terms of the agreements, NASA has worked with the State Department to try to build a large coalition that includes traditional allies like Canada and France as well as countries like the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and Rwanda that want to build their space programs.

According to NASA official Mike Gold, who was one of the key framers of the agreements, “the reaction from the international community was palpable — the excitement, the hope for the re-engagement for the U.S. to again lead.” Most of our partners don’t want to work with the Chinese, but if America doesn’t lead, they won’t have a choice.

More nations have launched space programs over the past few years, venturing further into space.

In 2019, Israeli and Indian spacecraft attempted to land on the moon. A spacecraft launched by South Korea in August reached lunar orbit in December.

However, China, which has begun to erode the technological advantage that the United States has held for decades, is the nation that the United States finds to be of the utmost interest and concern. China made a historic first when it landed a spacecraft on the other side of the moon in 2019. It became the only nation other than the United States to successfully deploy a vehicle on the Red Planet when it landed a rover on Mars in 2021. In addition, it has constructed its own Earth-orbiting space station at a time when the International Space Station is aging and tensions between the United States and Russia, the ISS’s two main partners, have grown due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The space race of today is more of a soft-power endeavor designed to gather allies and establish rules for the peaceful use of space race.

Whereas the Cold War space race of the 1960s required a military-like effort to gather the resources to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. NASA officials have stated that the fact that NASA would collaborate with Saudi Arabia, which the United States government has attributed to the 2018 assassination of Washington Post contributing columnist and resident Jamal Khashoggi, is evidence of how broad Washington wants the coalition to be.)

The space race of today is also much more dynamic than it was fifty years ago. The United States of America and China want to mine the moon, not just get there.

China’s space ambitions served as a rallying cry for NASA and Congress to act more quickly during the Trump administration.

Vice President Mike Pence claimed in a 2019 speech that the United States was in a race with China, evoking the space race against the Soviet Union to reach the moon and calling for NASA to significantly accelerate its return to the moon. “To seize the lunar strategic high ground and become the world’s preeminent spacefaring nation,” he stated, was China’s objective.

There was widespread concern within the space community that the new administration would end the Artemis program following President Donald Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden. Instead, it was embraced by the Biden administration, making it the first lunar human exploration program to survive successive administrations since Apollo.

It has also echoed the hawkish China policy of the Trump administration.

President Biden appointed NASA administrator Bill Nelson, who has previously warned that China is “a very aggressive competitor.” Pay attention to China. A 2011 law prohibits NASA from working with China in space because it was worried that China would steal American technology.

Pam Melroy, the deputy administrator of NASA and a former astronaut, stated in an interview that she was concerned about the actions that China and other nations might take on the moon, particularly when it came to extracting resources like water ice. Does it frighten me?” She stated, ” Yes, particularly regarding China.

“One of the reasons why the Artemis Accords are so very important,” she stated. simply working together to ensure that everyone is aware of our objectives and that we are open and honest.

The agreements, for instance, stipulate that signatories will assist in providing emergency assistance to injured astronauts.

Additionally, they would agree to safeguard historic sites like the Apollo 11 landing site. They would also promise to share scientific data and be open about their space plans.

Additionally, efforts to establish rules of the road in the largely lawless expanse of space that is becoming increasingly polluted with debris that poses a threat to sensitive satellites and even the ISS would benefit from the support of an international coalition. The situation deteriorated further the previous year when Russia detonated a defunct satellite, scattering hundreds of pieces of debris, and requiring NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts to don spacesuits and take cover inside their spacecraft in the event that the station was struck.

Melroy stated at a celebration of the agreements late last year,

According to Gold, “China and Russia now have a precedent to cope with, and there’s pressure to articulate how they are going to implement their international obligations” because so many nations have agreed to a set of rules.

Avoiding Space Junk: Try your hand at our interactive game. NASA has become increasingly disenchanted with China’s rocket launches that result in the first stages falling back to Earth uncontrollably. That is out of the ordinary, as rockets typically sink into the ocean or return with a soft landing, as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 does, and it could pose a threat to cities and towns.

In a statement released in November, Nelson stated,

“It is critical that all spacefaring nations are responsible and transparent in their space activities and follow established best practices, especially for the uncontrolled reentry of a large rocket body debris — debris that could very well result in major damage or death.”

Additionally, the agreements may provide another advantage: to make it more difficult for future presidents to end the Artemis program, which has been a problem for decades with NASA’s deep space exploration efforts. That was the idea behind the agreements, and it turned out to be true when the Biden administration picked up where Trump’s left off, keeping the program and trying to get other countries to join. More than twenty countries, including Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, and Singapore, have signed the agreement, forming a broad coalition that both Republicans and Democrats support.

According to Gold, “Sustainability was a key reason that the Artemis Accords are so important.

If you look at the efforts that NASA has made in the past, it was more than just an option to fail at creating a human exploration mission beyond low Earth orbit. That contrasts sharply with the International Space Station, which has served as the global leader in human spaceflight for a number of decades. That was due to two factors. First, it had global support and cooperation because it was international. Second was Congress’s bipartisanship.

While the space station partnership exemplifies how nations can work together to advance exploration and diplomatic ties, it also exemplifies how fragile such partnerships can be. The United States regarded Russia’s tough rhetoric as bluster, despite the fact that it had not taken any concrete steps to do so and had threatened to withdraw from the agreement. Nevertheless, NASA has been planning to go it alone, relying on the private sector to construct commercial stations to take the place of the ISS.

China, on the other hand, is preparing to send humans to the moon and building its own space race station.

Despite the fact that its advancements in recent years have made it a genuine space rival to the United States, it has not agreed to any of the standards outlined in the agreements.

If the United States and China become neighbors at the south pole of the moon, that could result in an awkward and tense situation. Despite the fact that it is already a barren and hostile location, frosty relations might make it even colder.

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