Jatan the human

Angola, Artemis Accords, and the Outer Space Treaty

On November 30, Angola became the 33rd country and the third African nation to sign the US-led Artemis Accords for cooperative lunar exploration. Nigeria and Rwanda became signees last year in December. Cris van Eijk points out that Angola is the first Accords signatory to have neither signed nor ratified any UN space treaty, including the Outer Space Treaty that the Accords posits to build on. Relatedly, even in the passing of a year since Colombia signed the Accords, the country hasn’t ratified the Outer Space Treaty.

In any case, the onboarding of countries like Angola to the Accords is in line with what Marcia Smith reported last year—that the US has been pushing for a broad, veto-less international participation in the Accords independent of a country’s intentions to collaborate with NASA on Artemis missions.

Relatedly, a nation to look out for with respect to the Accords is South Africa. The country is aiding NASA with a crucial ground station which will provide high bandwidth communications to the agency during Artemis crewed missions. At the same time, South Africa recently formally joined the upcoming China-led long-term scientific base on the Moon’s south pole called the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). It will be interesting to see if South Africa signs the Accords.

Excerpted from my 156th Moon Monday newsletter. Subscribe if lunar and space exploration interests you:

In welcome news, NASA has secured an exception from the US Congress for its researchers to be able to apply for accessing lunar samples brought by China’s Chang’e 5 mission: blog.jatan.space/p/moon-mo… 🚀🌗

Crossposting microposts to my Mastodon, Bluesky, Medium, Tumblr, and elsewhere is more trouble than it’s worth. So from now on I will microblog only on my Micro.blog and its automated Mastodon presence. There’s good old RSS and email too anyway so these are enough options for trivial thoughts.

I had a nice day exploring a big museum in Mumbai full of historical artifacts, sculptures, and paintings from the Indian subcontinent, southern Europe, Egypt, and modern day Iraq. It helped that the friend I went along with had interesting facts and perspectives to add.

I suck at using social media to market my work. As an independent writer, no one else is going to do it for me. But then, social media sucks at being human. So I guess it’s alright?

Is Micro.blog slow for anyone else lately? It’s been that way for me both on the Web and the app. And is Micro.blog generally slower for Indian users due to not having a near enough server?

The world’s first mission to drill on the Moon’s south pole looking for underground water ice is prepping for launch in 2024. In my latest Moon Monday blog+newsletter, I cover the many unique experiments onboard Intuitive Machines’ second lunar lander part of NASA’s CLPS program. 🧊🌗📡

Who here still uses Medium to read and/or write? Has its Membership been worth it for you to find good reads?

Renewed my Carrd Pro and Inoreader Pro subscriptions for 40% and 50% discounts respectively. They’re great value even at their original prices but I grabbed the Black Friday discounts because my funds as an independent writer are limited.

As much as I love Micro.blog and like Mastodon, I simply cannot get myself to interact regularly with even the people I know here. With the modern Web, there’s just too many human interactions all the time—even on relatively quieter social networks. The Web isn’t built for introverts and asocials.

Any Black Friday deals on web services and apps fellow geeks and nerds here are taking advantage of?

What does SpaceX Starship’s not-wholly-successful flight last week imply for NASA’s plans to land astronauts on the Moon with Artemis? I provide the key lunar perspective to consider on my latest Moon Monday. 🚀🌗

It was great co-leading a diverse working group at the Asia-Pacific Space Generation Workshop last week, with members from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Thailand. We came up with plausible new ways in which Asia-Pacific countries can collaborate to explore our Moon and also improve outreach. 🌏🚀🌗

A mosaic of 5 photos. Top: 1) A card with my name that reads 'Speaker' (for the event); 2) Two working group members presenting a slide on how to enable lunar missions for emerging countries; 3) Keynote speaker Nandini Harinath and Subject matter experts Jatan Mehta, Raghav Sharma, and Kishan Thakkar. Bottom: Two pictures of working group members, each comprising a mix of women and men.

Correction in my latest Indian Space Progress report: The news outlet whose article I cited in here (see screenshot) is The New Indian Express, and not The Indian Express. Sorry about this.

Screenshot showing a section of the blog post at https://blog.jatan.space/p/indian-space-issue-10#§over-million-indian-school-students-to-learn-about-chandrayaan-mixed-with-mythology

My Mumbai metro card works in other cities in India too! Over the past two months, I’ve found that it works in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru. And that’s despite the local staff saying it will not—because the card color is unusual for their city. I love this convenience. 🚈

I was sad to work on this month’s Indian Space Progress report. Even as we celebrate a successful safety test key to human spaceflight and ISRO’s new ambition to send an Indian to the Moon by 2040, having 200 million+ school students learn about Chandrayaan 3 mixed with mythology is very worrying.

I’m thrilled to welcome SatSure subsidiary KaleidEO as a sponsor of my monthly Indian Space Progress reports. 🚀🛰️

Alongside the other organization sponsors of the Takshashila Institution and SkyServe, my newsletter is on firm footing to reflect on the Indian space landscape for years to come. 🌏

I’m delighted to welcome space writer and author Gurbir Singh as an individual sponsor of both my Moon Monday and Indian Space Progress newsletters for a year! If you too would like to support any of these one-of-a-kind resources for space communities worldwide, get in touch. 🚀

NASA gets serious about extracting oxygen from soil on the Moon as the agency plans to fund such a demonstration mission end of decade, which will feed forward to mature systems that will provide oxygen for future astronauts and Moon bases: blog.jatan.space/p/moon-mo… 🚀🧑🏽‍🚀🌗

New business card. I’ve always valued my editorial independence the most as a space exploration writer, even if it hasn’t been easy to earn and maintain that. It feels so good to feature my own publication on my card rather than someone else’s. A big thanks to all who read and support my work. 💛🌗

A square business card with a duotone black and gray background and green accents. The text from top to bottom reads (with appropriate spacing): Jatan Mehta | Space Writer | blog.jatan.space | Moon Monday | Indian Space Progress | My number | My email: hey@jatan.space. Finally, there’s a QR code leading to my blog: https://blog.jatan.space/about

BTW I’m on Patreon if you’d like to support my independent space writing on Moon exploration and more! 🚀🌗

Indian users, you can directly UPI me if you love my coverage of all things (civil) Indian space! 🇮🇳

What if Micro.blog allowed free posts without media attachments just like the Replies here? To counter link spam, it can be invite-only via paying Micro.blog users—similar to write.as. That would also be a nice way to invite friends and family to this community we love but miss many people on.

When we do not accept loss of a single life in human spaceflight without far-reaching programmatic consequences or outright cancellations, and strive to avoid any severe injuries too, why should the rate of such harm be any higher for the people making human spaceflight happen?

New blog post →

New blog post with some thoughts on misinformation.

Screenshot showing part of the post: > If only we accept a little delay in breaking news and reward patience, we could avoid so much noise and misinformation, a lot of which is irreversible even on long timescales. Instead, what we did was create a system that made everything more agonizing. It’s one thing to publish information on a website and let people consume it via organic shares, subscriptions, and (reverse) chronological feeds, but it’s completely another to instantly algorithmically amplify content created on a whim. Welcome to “modern” social media.

Received stickers from the only social network I like, the little place on the Internet called Micro.blog. ^_^

Thanks, @jean. 🌙

Two stickers of the logo of Micro.blog, which is a yellow-orange speech bubble with a star shape inside. An accompanying note reads: Thanks, Jatan, for Moon microblogging! – Jean