Bulgaria Becomes the 32nd Nation to Join Artemis Accords for Lunar Exploration
Washington, D.C. – In a signing ceremony held at NASA Headquarters in Washington on November 9, Bulgaria officially became the 32nd nation to join the Artemis Accords, as announced by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Milena Stoycheva, Bulgaria’s Minister of Innovation and Growth.
The global partnerships made in the Artemis era will create possibilities that benefit members of the Artemis Generation in both our countries — and around the world. Bulgaria’s leadership will help ensure humanity’s journey to the Moon and beyond is done peacefully, safely, and transparently, said Nelson.
The Artemis Accords provide a framework for peaceful, transparent, and sustainable lunar exploration, guiding the activities of the Artemis program and serving as its diplomatic cornerstone. With Bulgaria’s participation, the accords aim to foster international cooperation in pushing the boundaries of human exploration in space while ensuring the peaceful coexistence of nations on Earth.
Stoycheva expressed her enthusiasm, stating, It is a historical moment for Bulgaria to join the Artemis Accords. We believe that pushing the boundaries of human quest in space with the support of AI and deep technologies will ensure peaceful and sustainable coexistence on Earth.
Bulgaria, known for its long history of space activities, has made significant contributions in this field. In 1979, Georgi Ivanov became the first Bulgarian cosmonaut by flying on the Soviet Soyuz-33 mission. Although the country is not currently a full member state of the European Space Agency (ESA), it has been a European Cooperating State since 2015.
Bulgaria’s inclusion in the Artemis Accords follows similar recent commitments from Iceland and the Netherlands, bringing the number of participating nations to 32.
While the United States leads the Artemis program, other countries are also forging their own paths. China, for instance, is building alliances and partnerships for its lunar exploration plans through the China-led International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). This initiative aims to establish a lunar base, initially robotic and later crewed, by the 2030s. Several countries, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, and Venezuela, have joined China in cooperating on this project.
The Artemis Accords and the ILRS highlight the growing interest and involvement of nations in lunar exploration. As space exploration takes center stage, global cooperation and partnerships are essential to ensure progress is achieved in a peaceful, safe, and transparent manner.
The signing of Bulgaria onto the Artemis Accords is a significant step forward, fostering international collaboration and pushing the frontiers of human space exploration while laying the foundation for a future that extends beyond the Moon.