Japan, others agree principles for exploring space
NHK -- Oct 15
Japan, the United States and six other countries have signed an agreement laying out what they say are the guiding principles for space exploration.

The US-led Artemis Accords are named after the Artemis program on lunar exploration that includes plans to send astronauts to the moon. Japan is a member of the program.

Canada and Britain were also among the eight nations that signed the pact at an online ceremony during the annual International Astronautical Congress.

Principles in the agreement include peaceful exploration and transparency. The pact also has rules on the extraction and use of space resources.

Japan's government says that although the accords are not legally binding, they mark the first international framework the country has joined for lunar and other space activities.

Science and Technology Policy Minister Inoue Shinji, who is in charge of space policy, spoke at the signing ceremony.

Inoue said he hopes the principles will serve as a major guide for future international rule-setting on space activity.

He said Japan looks forward to cooperating with its international partners.

日本時間14日未明、日本やアメリカ、イギリスなど8カ国による月探査に関する国際的な枠組み『アルテミス合意』の署名式が行われました。アメリカ主導の宇宙プロジェクト『アルテミス計画』は、いつごろ実現し、どんなことが行われるのでしょうか。 ◇アルテミス計画のスケジュール NASA(アメリカ航空宇宙局)によりますと、2023年に、月の軌道上に宇宙ステーション『ゲートウェイ』を打ち上げ、2024年には、有人で再び月面探査を行います。そして、2030年代には、月を中継地点にして、人類初の火星着陸を目指すということです。宇宙ステーション『ゲートウェイ』では月の科学探査や実験などを行い、月では水資源の探査を行います。 ◇月で水を探す理由は NASAの調査などによりますと、月の地下には水が存在すると考えられています。水は、生活用水になるだけでなく、分解するとロケット燃料にもなります。そうなれば、地球から月を中継地点として火星を目指すことができるようになります。地球から出発すると大気圏を抜けないといけませんが、月からなら効率よく飛び立つことが可能で、人や物資を多く運ぶことができるといいます。 ◇最終目的地『火星』 火星は、地球に似た惑星として、薄い大気や地下には氷、つまり水があると考えられています。火星の探査によって、新たな資源を探査をするなど、人類の活動領域を広げることが主な目的で、海外では移住計画も浮上しています。 ◇米中の“覇権争い” アルテミス計画は、アメリカが主導し、合意した日本やイギリス、カナダ、オーストラリアなど8カ国で進められていきます。アメリカが各国と協調する狙いは、中国へのけん制です。中国は単独で、軍主導による月や火星探査を行っています。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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