Artemis astronauts
NASA is emphasizing the science that astronauts will be able to do on the first Artemis lunar lander missions, but there are questions about how many samples they will be able to return. Credit: NASA

SEOUL, South Korea — Israel will sign the U.S.-led Artemis Accords outlining best practices for space exploration, according to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid wrote on Twitter on Jan. 16 that his country will sign the U.S.-led Artemis Accords outlining best practices for space exploration. Credit: NASA

“Today, I won the government’s approval to join the Artemis Accords, initiated by NASA, for cooperation in space exploration,” Lapid said Jan. 16 via Twitter. “We are moving toward a global and innovative future where countries mobilize resources for science and research, and work together to advance space diplomacy. To sign the accords will strengthen cooperation with other signatories in the field of trade and economy.” 

While Israel’s foreign ministry has not released an official statement on the issue,  local media reports said a signing ceremony involving NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Israel Space Agency Director-General Uri Oron is expected the week of Jan. 23.  ISA will host the 17th Ramon International Space Conference on Jan. 25 as part of Israel’s Space Week. 

If Israel signs the accords next week, it will become the fifteenth signatory to the pact. Mexico was the most recent signatory to the pact in December. Thirteen other countries that have embraced the Artemis Accords are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Park Si-soo covers space industries in South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries. Park worked at The Korea Times — South Korea's leading English language newspaper — from 2007 to 2020. He earned a master’s degree in science journalism from Korea...