The U.S. is planning on a leading a mission back to the moon by 2024, marking the first time humans will have been to the surface of the moon since 1972. In advance of this, the U.S. is preparing to release a legal framework termed the Artemis Accords intended to govern human activity on the moon. The accords reportedly would allow for the creation of "safety zones" around mining and exploration sites claimed by countries or companies and require public disclosure of what is being done in these zones, among other things. NASA argues the Artemis Accords would "in no way change" the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that prohibits countries from making territorial claims on the moon. But Russia has already voiced its opposition to the plan, arguing that the proposal is tantamount to a U.S. invasion of the moon. "NASA would make signing the accords a requirement for allied countries to participate in its lunar exploration program."
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