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    Today, New Zealand announced they would sign a space agreement with NASA as they begin to expand their space industry. This makes New Zealand the eleventh signature to the Artemis Accords. The Artemis Accords is a blueprint for space cooperation and supporting the U.S. space agency’s plans to bring humans back to the moon by 2024. Also to launch the first-ever human mission to Mars. 

    According to the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta explains that New Zealand is one out of the few nations that are actually able to launch rockets into space. New Zealand is particularly interested in ensuring the minerals from the moon or elsewhere are used sustainably. 

    A Californian-based company Rocket Lab was the first to launch a rocket out of New Zealand. The company specializes in placing small satellites into orbit, and four years ago they launched a test rocket into space from Mahia Peninsula. Rocket Lab started doing commercial launches starting in 2018. 

    The government announced they would be partnering with Indigenous Maori to purchase land in the Canterbury region. This would help them develop a second New Zealand launch site.

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