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India: The next country on the moon

Photo: Indian Space Research Organization via AP

On Monday, India will attempt to put its first probe on the Moon, the AP notes.

The backdrop: "India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, whose name is Sanskrit for 'moon craft,' orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. In 2013-14, India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation’s first interplanetary mission."

  • "The spacecraft will have a lunar orbiter, lander and a rover. The lander will carry a camera, a seismometer, a thermal instrument and a NASA-supplied laser retroreflector that will help calculate the distance between the Earth and the moon."

Why it matters: If India manages to land on the moon, they'll join a very exclusive club that includes the U.S., Russia (Soviet Union) and China, Axios' Miriam Kramer emails.

Between the lines: Folks who are framing this as a "race" are missing the bigger point that space is becoming more accessible for many different nations, not just huge ones with lots of money, Miriam tells me.

What's next: NASA is planning to aim for the Moon's south pole for its Artemis mission in 2024.

Go deeper: What we don't know about the Moon