According to a press release from the government of the Netherlands yesterday, it plans to sign the Artemis Accords, becoming the thirtieth nation to join the American alliance to explore and settle the solar system.
The full list of signatories to the Artemis Accords is now as follows: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Ukraine, and the United States.
Increasingly the entire western world is signing on, leaving China, Russia, and their few communist allies isolated on the other side.
Though this sounds good, we must remember that the west no longer stands as firmly for freedom and individual rights as it did during the Cold War. Instead, we increasingly see two alliances that are both more interested in promoting the power of the people who run each, rather than furthering the rights and dreams of their citizens. As I concluded in Conscious Choice:
It is therefore likely that the first few centuries of colonization throughout the solar system will not proceed peacefully or justly, as wished for by the good intentions of the Outer Space Treaty. Instead, the initial exploration will be a brutal legal nightmare for all involved.
Governments will scramble to grab as much as they can. And for private enterprise to succeed in space, the treaty’s restrictions on property rights will force those operations, very expensive, time consuming and extremely risky, to focus on maximizing profits so as to at least minimize the legal risks. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens will have few legal rights, because the rights citizens enjoy on Earth will not exist legally for them.
We are certainly going to explore and settle the solar system in the coming centuries. It is also likely that the citizens living there will have a terrible battle to obtain the same rights we on Earth have since the Enlightenment taken for granted.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon
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The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News