June 8, 2022

France signs up to Artemis Accords and joins international space exploration programme

Tuesday 7 June, on the sidelines of celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of CNES at the French Ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C., the agency’s Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste, accompanied by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, signed the Artemis Accords to make France the 20th nation to join this space exploration programme led by the United States.

CNES CEO Philippe Baptiste and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shake hands following the signing of the Artemis Accords Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Credits: NASA.

While the United States and France are already longstanding and successful partners in space, this signature strengthens their shared ambition to pursue crewed and robotic space exploration programmes. This policy statement sets out principles that will guide the peaceful exploration of space through the Artemis programme. In particular, it reaffirms the importance of the universal framework created by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the attachment to establishing international rules and regulations through an inclusive multilateral approach.

The Artemis Accords offer a wealth of opportunities for industry and scientific research in France and Europe. French firms in the space sector are already actively contributing to the Artemis programme. France’s signature will thus extend and deepen such mutually beneficial partnerships.

It will also provide the opportunity to defend the need for international coordination to enhance governance of the peaceful exploration of space, in particular under the aegis of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the only multilateral forum able to provide the right framework as set out in the Artemis Accords. This new partnership thus ties in with France’s space diplomacy efforts, which are strongly attached to promoting international cooperation in civil science and technology with all spacefaring nations.

On the occasion of this signature, Philippe Baptiste commented: “The fact that France is joining the Artemis exploration programme marks a new step forward for our partnership in space with the United States, which is already of prime importance for both nations, notably in Mars exploration and Earth-observation programmes. For our scientific community and industry, this new framework will enable us to meet new challenges and continue to be a leading world space power.

Artemis Accords

Olivia Baumann    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 76 77    olivia.baumann@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Head of Media    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr