China is on track to launch the Queqiao 2 relay lunar orbiter and Chang’e 6 sample return mission next year.
Thanks Jatan, very interesting and helpful, as always!
I don't quite understand the concern that the Moon Agreement is somehow inconsistent with the Artemis Accords. The Moon Agreement closely follows the text of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty but clarifies some points.
Article 11 of the Moon Agreement, which is controversial in some quarters, merely obligates signatories to set up an 'international regime' to govern the exploitation of lunar resources, but does not specify the nature of this regime. Many nations are now desperately trying to define such a regime anyway, hence the Artemis Accords among other initiatives. Indeed, the Artemis Accords might contribute to such a regime! And, of course, Article 18 of the Moon Agreement provides for a renegotiation of the interpretation of Article 11 if deemed necessary. Therefore, it is difficult to see how the Artemis Accords cam be deemed incompatible with the Moon Agreement.
My own view is that we would all be in a much better place today if more nations had ratified the Moon Agreement forty years ago, and it would be a retrograde step if India were to consider withdrawing....