Eight nations, including U.S., sign accords for moon missions

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ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) — Eight nations have signed NASA’s new framework to govern lunar exploration missions, the agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced Tuesday.

By signing the agreement, the eight nations commit to peaceful activities on the moon and in travel to the moon.

Provisions in the Artemis Accords stipulate that nations, and private companies in those nations, will openly disclose plans for lunar missions, and mine resources on the moon in accordance with the international Outer Space Treaty that dates to 1967.

The accords also commit signing nations to render aid to other nations on the moon if necessary, to minimize space debris and to register all objects taken to the lunar surface.

In addition to the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and Britain signed the Artemis Accords.

“We are one human race and we are in this together. The Accords help us to work together to benefit all,” Sarah Al Amiri, chair of the United Arab Emirates Council of Scientists, said in a live broadcast Tuesday.

Bridenstine had said in a press conference Monday that more nations are expected to sign the accords this year, and that he hopes all nations eventually will.

“As NASA, we always try to be very transparent and what our plans and policies are, and we think it’s good for all nations to be transparent with their plans,” Bridenstine said.

The new agreement comes as NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, with further plans to establish a lunar base to tap water ice for possible long-term habitation.

NASA officials on Monday acknowledged they didn’t approach all space-faring nations in drafting the accords because the agency wanted to move quickly. NASA sought a few nations believed to have common values, said Mike Gold, associate


21 MacArthur ‘Genius grant’ winners — including a neuroscientist, econometrician and historian — receive $625K each

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A legal scholar who studies how Black and other disadvantaged families are deprived of their real estate wealth.

A cognitive neuroscientist who taps a range of technologies to understand how the brain functions.

A jazz singer who is expanding what the art of song can achieve.

These are among winners of this year’s MacArthur Fellowships, popularly known as “genius grants.” Each will receive $125,000 annually for the next five years, with no strings attached, from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“In the midst of civil unrest, a global pandemic, natural disasters, and conflagrations, this group of 21 exceptionally creative individuals offers a moment for celebration,” said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of the MacArthur Fellows, in a statement.

“They are asking critical questions, developing innovative technologies and public policies, enriching our understanding of the human condition, and producing works of art that provoke and inspire us.”

Following is the complete list of this year’s winners. For more information, visit www.macfound.org.

Isaiah Andrews, 34, Cambridge, Mass.

Andrews, an econometrician, develops “reliable and broadly applicable methods of statistical inference to address key challenges in economics, social science and medicine,” according to the foundation.

Tressie McMillan Cottom, 43, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The sociologist, writer and public scholar explores where issues of race, gender, education and digital technology converge. Her work spans academic scholarship to social media platforms.

Paul Dauenhauer, 39, Minneapolis.

A chemical engineer, Dauenhauer is developing technologies for turning materials drawn from organic, renewable sources into the “chemical building blocks” for items now made from fossil fuels.

Nels Elde, 47, Salt Lake City.

An evolutionary geneticist, Elde explores the processes that allow organisms to attack others or defend themselves.

Damien Fair, 44, Minneapolis.

Fair, a cognitive neuroscientist, investigates brain functioning via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), sophisticated mathematical