Canadian lawmakers are set to vote on Thursday to amend the country’s criminal law to allow crimes committed on the moon to continue.
The proposal to amend the law in the 443-page budget tabled in parliament this week – is expected to be approved.
Ottawa has already expanded its jurisdiction over crimes committed by Canadian astronauts during space travel to the International Space Station.
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Under that law, the same treatment is given for crimes committed in Canada.
Artemis II is scheduled to be launched aboard the Canadian astronaut in May 2024, the first manned spaceflight to the moon in more than 50 years, as the number of space missions increases.
Subtitled The Lunar Gateway, the Penal Code Amendment states: “During a space flight, a member of the Canadian team who committed an act or misconduct outside of Canada would be considered a criminal offense in Canada. Or left in Canada.
The document states that this includes crimes committed at the Lunar Gateway space station or “on the surface of the moon” as it prepares to orbit or orbit the moon.
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Foreign astronauts who pose a “threat to the life or safety of a Canadian crew member” during Canadian-sponsored space travel may also be prosecuted.
The Canadian Space Agency is partnering with the European Space Agency and the Japan Space Agency on the US NASA Lunar Gateway Project.
Beginning in 2026, the station will serve as a starting point for robotic and human exploration of the lunar surface and for missions to Mars. (I)
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