New Zealand signs space agreement with NASA, 11th country to do so
Wellington: New Zealand on Tuesday announced that it has become the 11th country to sign the Artemis Agreement with the US space agency NASA. The agreement is a draft of cooperation in space and supports NASA’s plan to send humans to the moon by 2024 and the launch of the historic manned mission to Mars.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nania Mahuta has said that New Zealand is one of the few countries to launch a rocket into space.
“New Zealand is committed to ensuring that the next phase of space exploration is safe, sustainable and transparent, and in full compliance with international law,” Mahuta said, adding that New Zealand was particularly interested in ensuring that. The key is to use minerals from the moon or any other place in space properly.
The California-based company Rocket Lab made history in New Zealand four years ago when it launched a test rocket into space from the distant Mahia Peninsula.
It launched commercially in 2018. Rocket Lab specializes in launching small satellites into orbit. Peter Beck, founder of Rocket Lab and a New Zealand citizen, said the signing of the agreement was a sign that the country’s role in the space industry was growing and opened the door to alliance and mission possibilities with NASA.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement that New Zealand was one of the seven countries that helped draft the agreement and was pleased that New Zealand had signed it.
In addition to New Zealand, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine have signed it. Brazil has also said it plans to sign.