World News

India, more Brics and the moon

Posted by: The Conversation Global highlights

Date: Monday, 28 August 2023

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India became the fourth country to successfully land a craft on the Moon last week. The feat sparked an outpouring of national pride. The Chandrayaan-3 robotic lander touched down close to the Moon’s south pole, an area of profound scientific interest that had not been visited until this point.

China has had a few craft make it to the Moon in recent years, while NASA’s Artemis program, that aims to return human to the surface, is aiming for a landing as soon as 2025. Russia too remains very interested in the Moon. It launched a robotic craft – Luna-25 – at the lunar surface this month, but it crashed just three days before Chandrayaan-3’s successful landing, serving as a reminder that such missions remain very difficult to pull off.

What’s with all this renewed interest in Earth’s only natural satellite? I asked Mariel Borowitz, an expert in international space policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for more insight into the geopolitics of Moon landings. Meanwhile, the range of players in this space race serves as a reminder of change international political dynamics, and the rise of the growing Bric bloc.

Mary Magnuson

Assistant Science Editor, US edition

India’s Chandrayaan-3 lander successfully touched down on the south pole of the Moon on Aug. 23, 2023, sparking celebrations across the country. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

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