It’s an open secret: the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is dead. And if it is not officially buried, it is because nobody dares to open the “Pandora’s box” that would be a new international negotiation at a time when space is no longer just the playground of two or three superpowers: it is money. , money and money.
The problem is that keeping the Treaty on life support severely limits the scope for ambitious space programs. The best example, of course, is Artemis.
Best example? Because? And I say that it is the best example because the first thing that the United States did when it seriously began to work on the program (which would take us back to the Moon, lay the foundations of the cislunar economy and take us to the gates of Mars) is to create a treaty that, based on that of 1967, will update it: the Artemisa Agreements.
Well, Spain has just signed them. Thus, it becomes the 25th country to sign them and, in this way, the country officially joins the program. The truth is that the collaboration between the US and Spain in space matters goes back decades. The first images of the arrival of Armstrong and company on the Moon were received in the mountains of Madrid before being broadcast throughout the world.
It hasn’t stopped being that way. However, the signing of the Agreements is part of the impulse that the government of Pedro Sánchez has wanted to give space in Spain. The creation of the Spanish Space Agency is the most striking point, but the strategy has included a budget increase, an international repositioning and, of course, the new batch of Spanish astronauts.
But what is all this for? On a practical level, under all those speeches of “international cooperation” and “guaranteeing that the rapid expansion of humanity into space is carried out in a peaceful, safe and transparent manner”, Spain’s entry into the program does not have many direct consequences ( and less if we take into account that, today, the government’s policy is up in the air).
However, it is not free or useless. Space is one of the most interesting industrial, economic and technological development sectors. The signing of the Agreements, in addition to being a purely diplomatic matter, is a movement that tries to better position us in light of the news that is brewing up there.
Lack of long-term vision. I have mentioned before that the electoral advance leaves the space strategy unsettled and, therefore, it is very difficult to say what will happen in the coming years. Basically, we are facing an endemic problem in our country: the lack of State policies that do not lurch from government to government. Spain does not have (or has very few) great country strategies that overcome partisan scuffles.
In the reactions to the news on social networks, someone was joking with which he was concerned about whether Spain had “great imperialist plans” in the Solar System and that, with the signing of the Agreements, he would be calmer. Spanish ‘space fans’ too, but for another reason: they are aware that we need to want to go into space and this is an excellent step in this regard.
In Xataka | The Spaniards who put man on the moon
Imagen | NASA/Jackie McGuinness