Michael Gold, the Acting Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of International and Interagency Relations, told the reporters that the media reports that the US is not willing to include Russia into the draft agreement on Moon exploration were incorrect.
“I think it’s unfortunate that there were a lot of media leaks that did not properly describe what the Artemis Accords were, so I’m not surprised for some of those reactions. Frankly, if I was in their place, I might have reacted similarly, given the information that was presented,’’ said Gold when asked about a Reuters report on the subject.
He added that the United States views Russia as its partner on the subject of Moon exploration and that Moscow can count on an agreement with the US within the framework of Artemis Accords.
“I think in many ways Russia already has. As you know, Russia is a signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. That is why I’m very hopeful that now that we come out and have described what’s in these accords and that they are grounded on the Outer Space Treaty, that Russia will be able to take a hard look at this kind of thing now,’’ said Gold.
Gold also pointed out that Russia’s participation in the project to create a lunar orbiter along with the United States can become the first step to signing an agreement between the two countries all within the framework of the Artemis Accords.
“As we look at the Russian cooperation on Artemis, I expect a great deal of it. It may center around the Gateway. That may be a precursor possible to Artemis Accords agreements, because Russia already expressed interest in participating in the Gateway program. There is nothing in the Accords, we would hope that Russia would object to,’’ concluded Gold.
NASA revealed the basic principles for the international agreement on the exploration of the Moon on Friday. The agreement will comprise several bilateral agreements between the US and its partner nations. Mining the Moon and creating safety zones for the prevention of harmful interference are some of the several principles this agreement has. According to Reuters, the US administration prepares a project of a new international agreement on resource mining on the moon which it plans to involve a number of partners state in, and Russia will not be among them during the early stage.
Dmitry Peskov, a Russian spokesman, spoke to the journalists on the subject as he said that the US draft agreement on resource mining on the moon requires a thorough review from the standpoint of international law. He also said that he is not ready to evaluate this project directly yet.
According to TASS, the Lunar Gateway, previously known as Deep Space Gateway and Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, proposed by the US, is supposed to become a transit point for human missions to Moon and far space.
NASA also sent a memorandum to Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos that contains the details of the whole project.
Dmitry Rogozin, the CEO of Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, said that the Agency is ready to take a part in the international Lunar Gateway project on equal footing with NASA.
The Agency will cooperate with NASA on Gateway after the upcoming Russian spacecraft and super-heavy rocked pass tests, which would provide the project with reserve means of support and rescue.