Switzerland signs Artemis Accords to join NASA in moon exploration

two white men in dark suits shake hands in front of a backdrop of many flags.
Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, right, shakes hands with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, left, after signing the Artemis Accords, Monday, April 15, 2024, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. (Image credit: NASA/Keegan Bar)

Add Switzerland to the list!

Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin joined NASA administrator Bill Nelson Monday (April 15), at the space agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to become the latest country to sign on to the agency's Artemis Accords for moon exploration. 

“Today, we marked a giant leap forward in the partnership between the United States and Switzerland," Nelson said during the ceremony, praising the accords' "commitment to explore the unknown openly and peacefully." Switzerland is the 37th country to sign the Artemis Accords, following the inclusion of Greece and Uruguay in February.

Related: Cooperation on the moon: Are the Artemis Accords enough?

"Switzerland has a long-standing partnership with NASA on human space exploration as well as space and Earth sciences," Parmelin said in a statement.

The Accords set out principles for peaceful and responsible exploration, most immediately guiding NASA's lunar Artemis program. NASA is planning to send humans back to the moon as a part of the Artemis program, which ultimately aims to create a permanent presence on the lunar surface. Artemis 1, an uncrewed mission, launched in November, 2022. Artemis 2 and Artemis 3 are expected to launch in 2025 and 2026, respectively; first sending a crew to orbit, then to the moon's surface.

The United States established the Artemis Accords in 2020 alongside seven other nations, and has been adding new countries ever since. The accords reinforce guidelines set out by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which help govern international cooperation and coordination in outer space. 

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Josh Dinner
Writer, Content Manager

Josh Dinner is Space.com's Content Manager. He is a writer and photographer with a passion for science and space exploration, and has been working the space beat since 2016. Josh has covered the evolution of NASA's commercial spaceflight partnerships, from early Dragon and Cygnus cargo missions to the ongoing development and launches of crewed missions from the Space Coast, as well as NASA science missions and more. He also enjoys building 1:144 scale models of rockets and human-flown spacecraft. Find some of Josh's launch photography on Instagram and his website, and follow him on Twitter, where he mostly posts in haiku.