Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer Littlejohn, left, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States Lilit Makunts, right, look on as Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia, signs the Artemis Accords, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. The Republic of Armenia is the 43rd countr

WASHINGTON, DC –NASA Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed Armenia as the newest nation to sign the Artemis Accords Wednesday during a ceremony with the U.S. State Department at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Armenia joins 42 other countries in a commitment to advancing principles for the safe, transparent, and responsible exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

“NASA is proud to welcome Armenia to the Artemis Accords as we expand the peaceful exploration of space,” said Nelson. “Today’s signing builds on an important foundation. Armenia long has looked to the heavens and helped humanity understand them. As the 10th nation this year to sign the Artemis Accords, we are proving that exploration unites nations like few other things can. We will continue to expand humanity’s reach in the cosmos – together.”

Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia delivers remarks during  Artemis Accords signing ceremony  

Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, Minister of High-Tech Industry, signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of Armenia. Lilit Makunts, ambassador of Armenia to the U.S. and Jennifer R. Littlejohn, acting assistant secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State, also participated in the event.

“By signing these accords, Armenia joins a community of nations dedicated to advancing the frontiers of human knowledge and capability in space,” said Hayrapetyan. “Our involvement will not only enhance our technological capabilities, but also inspire a new generation of Armenians to dream big, to innovate and to explore the world and universe.”

 Jennifer Littlejohn,  Bill Nelson, Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, and Lilit Makunts, pose for a picture after the signing of the Artemis Accords

The United States and seven other nations were the first to sign the Artemis Accords in 2020, which identified an early set of principles promoting the beneficial use of space for humanity. The accords are grounded in the Outer Space Treaty and other agreements including the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as best practices and norms of responsible behavior that NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data. More countries are expected to sign the Artemis Accords in the months and years to come.

The commitments of the Artemis Accords, and efforts by the signatories to advance implementation of these principles, support NASA’s Artemis campaign with its partners, as well as for the success of the safe and sustainable exploration activities of the other accords signatories.

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