It’s an open secret: the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is dead. And if it is not officially buried, it is because no one dares to open the “Pandora’s box” that will serve as a new international negotiation at a time when space is no longer Just The playing field of two or three superpowers: money, money, and money.
The problem is that maintaining the life support treaty severely limits the scope of ambitious space programmes. The best example, of course, is Artemis.
The best example? because? And I say it’s the best example because the first thing the United States did when it began seriously working on the program (which would take us back to the moon, lay the foundations of the lunar economy and take us to the gates to Mars) was create a treaty, on the basis of the 1967 treaty, that would modernize it: Artemis Accords.
Well, Spain just signed them. In doing so, it becomes the 25th country to sign it, and in this way, the state He officially joins the program. The truth is that cooperation between the United States and Spain in space matters goes back decades. The first images of Armstrong and his companions landing on the moon were received in the mountains of Madrid before they were broadcast around the world.
It didn’t stop like this. However, the signing of agreements is part of the motivation that the Pedro Sanchez government wanted to give space in Spain. The creation of the Spanish Space Agency is the most striking point, but the strategy included a budget increase, an international repositioning and, of course, the new batch of Spanish astronauts.
But why all this? On a practical level, under all the rhetoric of “international cooperation” and “ensuring humanity’s rapid expansion into space takes place in a peaceful, safe and transparent manner”, Spain’s entry into the program does not have many direct consequences (and even less if we consider that government policy today is up in the air ).
However, it is not free or useless. Space is one of the most interesting sectors of industrial, economic and technological development. The signing of agreements, in addition to being a purely diplomatic matter, is a movement that tries to put us in a better position in light of the news that is brewing there.
No long term vision. I have mentioned before that electoral progression leaves space strategy unstable and, therefore, 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 oscillate from one government to another. Spain has no (or very few) great country strategies that overcome partisan squabbling.
In reactions to the news on social media, Someone was joking Who was worried about whether Spain had “great imperial plans” in the Solar System, and that with the signing of the Conventions, he would be calmer. Spanish “space fans” too, but for another reason: they understand that we need to go into space and this is an excellent step in this regard.
In Xataka | The Spaniards who put man on the moon
Image | NASA/Jackie McGuinness