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

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's next moves in Supreme Court fight

Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump's choices to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are down to two women, both federal appeals court judges.

The frontrunners are Amy Coney Barrett of Chicago, the early favorite, and Barbara Lagoa, who is viewed as easier to confirm. The Senate confirmed Lagoa 80-15 last year, so many Democrats have already voted for her.

The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
2 hours ago - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.