Aušrinė Armonaitė, Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation, signs the Artemis Accords in the presence of United States Ambassador Kara C. McDonald at a ceremony in conjunction with Vilnius Space Days.
Credit: Lithuanian Innovation Agency

A milestone was reached on Wednesday as Lithuania became the 40th nation to join NASA and the international coalition in pursuit of safer space exploration by signing the Artemis Accords. The ceremony took place at the Radisson Blu Lietuva hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania, and signifies a continued push toward transparency and peace as more nations traverse farther into space.

“Welcome to the Artemis Accords family, Lithuania,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Our nations are strong partners – and now we expand this partnership to the cosmos. In just four years, a remarkable 40 countries have signed the Artemis Accords. Together, as a global coalition, we will explore the stars openly, responsibly, and in peace.”

United States Ambassador Kara C. McDonald attended the ceremony to speak on behalf of the U.S., and Aušrinė Armonaitė, Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation, signed the Accords.

“The Lithuanian space sector has been growing steadily, with our innovative companies working in this field making significant strides,” Armonaitė said. “The Artemis Accords mark a new chapter and chart a course for future space exploration, underscoring our commitment to a responsible, sustainable, and cooperative presence in space.”

Remarks from NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy also played before the signing.

“Today is a pivotal day for Lithuania,” Melroy said. “We are living in the golden age of space. The days of one nation exploring the cosmos alone are gone. Today, we go together, and we go with international partners.”

The Artemis Accords align with NASA’s Artemis campaign, that will send astronauts including the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut to explore the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and to build the foundation for crewed missions to Mars.

NASA, along with the Department of State and seven other nations, established the Artemis Accords in 2020 to lay out a set of principles grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and three related space treaties. With the commitment of now 40 nations, the accords community will facilitate a long-term and peaceful presence of deep space exploration for the benefit of humanity.

To learn more about the Artemis Accords, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/artemis-accords/

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Faith McKie / Lauren Low
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
[email protected] / [email protected]

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Last Updated
May 15, 2024

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