Artemis to Get More International Support

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After Last Week’s Presentation, More Nations Are Interested In Artemis and Our Plans for the Moon.

Last week NASA sort of hosted the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington DC. The  International Astronautical Federation (IAF) technically hosted the event. However, because it was in Washington, all eyes were on American companies and NASA presentations. One of the highlights of the conference, in fact, was Jim Bridenstine’s presentation on the Artemis program. Artemis is NASA’s mission to put the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. And after Bridenstine’s presentation, a lot more nations want a piece of Artemis’ action.

You can watch the full presentation here:

Currently, there are 15 partner nations working in coalition on the International Space Station program, which is a major component of Artemis missions. In a press conference on Thursday, however, Bridenstine said that over 26 nations had approached him about working with NASA on Artemis. 

A Double-Edged Sword

On the one hand, it’s a fantastic thing to have so many partner nations willing to help us achieve our only narrowly realistic goal. After all, Vice President Pence shaved four years off of the target deadline. Since then, NASA engineers and managers scurry and race to try and meet this incredible challenge. So yes, more hands make less work. And having extra help—regardless of what form it takes—should be a good thing.

On the other hand, the rush could lead to hasty deals with nations that aren’t as airtight as we’d like them to be.

Still, if you’re going to achieve something like Artemis, you’re going to need help.

“The goal is to have many different nations living and working on the moon at the same time with a coalition,” Bridenstine told onlookers at the conference. “When we look at what the contributions of our international partners are to this operation, you can imagine there are a lot of countries that will step up to the plate.”

What About The Corporations?

Oh, don’t worry, like that little cold sore that keeps coming back, they’ll always be around. SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Virgin Orbit: All of them want a piece of the pie, and NASA’s serving it up hot. Again, more hands make less work.

Despite the President’s insistence on downplaying the importance of the Moon, it’s clear that the rest of the world disagrees. The Moon is the first step on our way to Mars, and it’s a remarkable opportunity for all of us—partner nations and corporations alike—to unite around a common, grand vision and take another giant leap for humanity. 

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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