Jul 12, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM is 455 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: The Federal Trade Commission voted to approve approximately $5 billion in settlement fees with Facebook this week. Details.

  • The fine would represent the largest ever of its kind, Axios' David McCabe notes.
1 big thing: The next country on the moon
Photo: Indian Space Research Organization via AP

Coming Monday: India is attempting to put its 1st probe on the Moon, the AP notes.

  • "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 US, 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.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Scaffolding is installed on part of Notre-Dame.

  • "The cleaning and consolidation phase of the building should continue until at least the end of the year."
2. What you missed
  1. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will resign next week, following critical attention over his role in a lenient 2008 plea deal for sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Go deeper.
  2. Trump has told confidants he's eager to remove Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, according to five sources who have discussed the matter directly with the president. Go deeper.
  3. Volkswagen is investing $2.6 billion in self-driving startup Argo AI, joining Ford as an equal partner in the Pittsburgh-based company, while Ford announced plans to build at least 600,000 vehicles for Europe using Volkswagen's electric vehicle technology. Go deeper.
  4. 🎧 The age of die-hard sports fans is ending, with a new generation that's willing and eager to change allegiance and interests. Axios' Pro Rata podcast goes deeper with Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympian and managing partner of the Sports Innovation Lab. Listen here.
3. 1 fun thing

Impossible Foods, the maker of the now-ubiquitous Impossible Burger, "is joining a crowded field of food companies developing alternatives to traditional seafood with plant-based recipes or laboratory techniques that allow scientists to grow fish from cells," writes the New York Times.

  • "Last month, Impossible’s 124-person research and development team ... produced an anchovy-flavored broth made from plants" that can be used to make paella or Caesar dressing.

Why it matters: "The fishless-fish project is part of Impossible’s grand ambitions to devise tasty replacements for every animal-based food on the market by 2035."

Mike Allen