India and Russia are trying to land on the moon

For its part, India next plans to partner with Japan on the Lunar Polar Exploration Rover or LUPEX, which could be launched as early as 2026 and will explore water deposits near the South Pole.

The US and China have been operating on and around the moon for years. NASA and its international and commercial partners have already launched the first mission of the Artemis program. NASA plans to send astronauts into lunar orbit in late 2022 with the unmanned Artemis 1, and in 2024. In 2026, it plans to send humans to the surface of the Moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972. In the end, the The United States is preparing for a permanent presence on the Moon, including a lunar base and a lunar gateway space station.

NASA has also invested in commercial enterprises, such as Astrobotic’s Griffin lander, which will deliver the space agency’s Viper rover near the South Pole by late 2024. Vulcan Centaur rocket.) The United States has created the Artemis Accords, guidelines for exploring the Moon and exploiting lunar resources.

China has taken its own path with its ambitious Chang’e project. It began with a lunar orbiter in 2007 and was followed by other orbiters, a lander, and then a rover in 2019. Chang’e 5 successfully sent lunar samples back to Earth in 2020. China plans another model-return, the Chang’e 6. mission in 2024, followed by the Chang’e 7 rover in 2026. Like the US, China also plans to have a permanent presence on the moon through it. International Lunar Research Station At the South Pole of the Moon, it is planned to be built in the 2030s.

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It is not for lack of effort by others that the US and China have dominated lunar exploration over the past decade. Recent landing attempts have failed, including Japan’s Ispace lander in April and Israel’s Beresheet lander in 2019, with payloads of hardy tardigrades, or the infamous „water bears.” India’s Chandrayaan-2 lander also landed on the moon later that year.

There’s a reason nations want to be the first to reach major lunar sites. According to the Outer Space Treaty, no one can own the Moon Covenants of Artemis They offer what some might describe as a loophole: safety zones. If someone sets up a landing pad, equipment or infrastructure, others are expected to keep a distance from the site in the interests of safety. This would allow a country or even a company to effectively claim prime real estate, Steer says.

Earthly geopolitics are inevitably at play. It matters who gets off first and who cooperates with whom. For example, China has invited Russia to partner in its lunar research station, along with Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. India sometimes partners with the US; In June, India became the 27th country to join the Artemis Treaty during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House.

For now, both India and Russia are poised to make big strides in the next phase of the space race. We will know next week if anyone advances.

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