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

India’s Chandrayaan-3 landed on the south pole of the Moon − a space policy expert explains what this means for India and the global race to the Moon

Mariel Borowitz, Georgia Institute of Technology

India became the first country to land near the south pole of the Moon, a notoriously difficult achievement that also marks them as the fourth country to land on the Moon.

Trump out on bail – a criminal justice expert explains the system of cash bail

Megan T. Stevenson, University of Virginia

One by one, former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants in the Georgia presidential election interference case turned themselves in for arrest at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta.

Why have you read ‘The Great Gatsby’ but not Ursula Parrott’s ‘Ex-Wife’?

Marsha Gordon, North Carolina State University

‘Ex-Wife’ originally outsold ‘The Great Gatsby,’ but critics sniffed at the novel, deeming it a melodramatic period piece − even though it tackled timeless issues like gender, money and power.

Censorship or sensible: is it bad to listen to Fat Bottomed Girls with your kids?

Liz Giuffre, University of Technology Sydney

It was reported this week that Queen’s song Fat Bottomed Girls has not been included in a greatest hits compilation aimed at children – presumably because of the lyrics.