Switzerland Joins Artemis Accords, Pledges Commitment to Space Exploration

Switzerland's Entry into Artemis Accords Marks a Significant Step Towards International Cooperation in Space Exploration.

Washington, D.C., USA, April 15 2024: Switzerland solidified its dedication to the exploration and utilization of outer space by becoming the 37th nation to sign the Artemis Accords at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The historic event, which took place on Monday, April 15, underlined Switzerland’s resolve to foster the sustainable and inclusive exploration of space for the betterment of all humanity.

In a momentous ceremony attended by key dignitaries and representatives from both Switzerland and the United States, Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister for Economic Affairs, Education & Research, Guy Parmelin, formally inked the Accords on behalf of Switzerland. Parmelin’s participation signified Switzerland’s unwavering commitment to collaborative space endeavors aimed at advancing scientific discovery and technological innovation.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson hailed the occasion as a significant milestone in the enduring partnership between the United States and Switzerland. “Today, we marked a giant leap forward in the partnership between the United States and Switzerland,” expressed Nelson. “As we welcome you into the Artemis Accords family, we expand our commitment to explore the unknown openly and peacefully.”

Joining Parmelin at the ceremony were esteemed figures including Valda Vikmanis-Keller, acting deputy assistant secretary of the Department of State; Martina Hirayama, state secretary and Head of the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation; Jacques Pitteloud, Swiss Ambassador to the U.S.; ESA astronaut Marco Sieber, representing Switzerland; Renato Krpoun, Head of Swiss Space Office; and Professor Peter Wurz, Director of Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Bern.

Reflecting on Switzerland’s enduring partnership with NASA, Parmelin emphasized, “Switzerland has a long-standing partnership with NASA on human space exploration as well as space and Earth sciences.” He further articulated that through the signing of the Artemis Accords, Switzerland reaffirmed its dedication to collaborative space exploration endeavors aimed at unlocking the mysteries of the cosmos.

The Artemis Accords, initiated by NASA and the U.S. Department of State in 2020, serve to bolster the principles outlined in the 1968 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. By signing the Accords, Switzerland underscores its commitment to international cooperation, transparency, and responsible space exploration practices.

The inclusion of Switzerland in the Artemis Accords underscores the growing global consensus on the importance of space exploration for the betterment of humanity. With numerous nations expected to join the Accords in the coming months and years, NASA remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate safe, peaceful, and prosperous exploration of space alongside its international partners.

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