The Artemis Accords are a mechanism by which countries can participate in NASA’s Artemis Programme. The programme envisages landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon. NASA thinks international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable presence on the Moon.
NASA likely sees this as a natural next step after the collaboration at the International Space Station.
China has proposed its own version of a permanent lunar base. When the Artemis Accords were announced, Russia said the accords were too US-centric, and later went on to participate in the Chinese programme.
India’s lunar programme has had limited success. It has two missions in orbit. The first and only mission to the surface failed in September 2019. The US has collaborated with India on Chandrayaan 1, the first lunar mission. India is also collaborating with Japan on a future lunar mission, called LUPEX, to the Moon’s surface. Japan is also a signatory to the Artemis Accords.
Next, India’s human space programme depends on Russia for astronaut training. It is presently in the process of setting up its own facilities for the human spaceflight training programme. The US, France, Germany and Italy in Europe, and Japan have also offered help to India with human spaceflight training.
These various dependencies in advanced space technologies make up an important background to understand the context in which India is operating. They may play a role in India’s decision on whether to join the Artemis Accords.