Updated Feb. 10 with comments from signing ceremony.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Greece became the latest country to sign the Artemis Accords outlining best practices for sustainable space exploration Feb. 9.

In a ceremony at the U.S. State Department, Giorgos Gerapetritis, Greece’s foreign minister, formally signed the Accords. The signing took place as part of a U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue meeting.

“As humanity embarks on a great adventure, returning to the moon and preparing for traveling beyond the moon, the Artemis Accords serve as a beacon of collaboration and cooperation among nations, paving the way for a sustainable and peaceful exploration of space,” Gerapetritis said in a statement.

“We’re working to shape the future of how our countries operate in space so that benefits are maximized for all people for generations to come,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in comments at the signing event. “Our coalition now will be stronger with Greece.”

Greece is the 35th country to do so since the Accords were announced in 2020. The document is intended to build upon the principles of the Outer Space Treaty and other international agreements on topics ranging from the sharing of scientific data to utilization of space resources.

“The U.S. and Greece are long-time partners and friends, and we are excited to expand this partnership in the cosmos,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “Together, we are shaping the future of cooperation in space for the Artemis Generation.”

Greece is the second European country in as many months to sign the Artemis Accords, after Belgium did so Jan. 23. With the addition of Greece, 12 of the European Space Agency’s 22 member states have joined along with one cooperating state, Bulgaria. Greece’s signing also means 12 of 27 European Union member states have joined.

“As we embark on this bold endeavor to return astronauts to the lunar surface and establish a sustainable human presence, Greece stands ready to contribute its experience in space science and engineering,” said Ioannis Daglis, president of the Hellenic Space Center, at the signing ceremony. “Our vibrant community with its deep knowledge in space physics, remote sensing, robotics and space software eagerly anticipates the opportunity to enrich the Artemis Program.”

The Artemis Accords is outpacing a parallel effort led by China, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), which has its own, undisclosed set of principles for participation. Eight countries have joined the ILRS, most recently Egypt in December, according to data compiled by the Secure World Foundation.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...