Intuitive Machines, a private company, successfully landed a spacecraft carrying the equipment for several science experiments conducted by NASA on the Moon’s surface on Thursday evening. This marked the first U.S. lunar landing in more than five decades and a huge win for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. It wasn’t an easy feat, either. Just last month, another company failed in its attempt to pull off the first landing of this kind.

If taking a chance on these companies is so risky, why is NASA doing it? The partnerships could allow the agency to get more science experiments on the Moon than ever before. And the data from these experiments can both inform physics and cosmology research and help the agency learn more about putting humans back on the Moon – as it aims to do soon.

The lander that touched down two days ago holds the first payload for a program that plans to put a radio telescope on the lunar surface. Jack Burns, a University of Colorado Boulder astronomer and co-investigator on the program, describes NASA’s partnerships with private space companies and some of the science his and other teams hope to do on the Moon in the coming years.

This week we also liked articles on leap years, what can go wrong when moms go on diets, and Tucker Carlson’s transformation into a propagandist.

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Mary Magnuson

Assistant Science Editor

The dark, far side of the Moon is the perfect place to conduct radio astronomy. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

US Moon landing marks new active phase of lunar science, with commercial launches of landers that will study solar wind and peer into the universe’s dark ages

Jack Burns, University of Colorado Boulder

Projects under NASA’s CLPS program – including the Odysseus lander that made it to the lunar surface – will probe unexplored questions about the universe’s formation.

Mothers play an outsized role in the formation of their daughters’ dietary habits. andresr/E+ via Getty Images

Mothers’ dieting habits and self-talk have profound impact on daughters − 2 psychologists explain how to cultivate healthy behaviors and body image

Janet J. Boseovski, University of North Carolina – Greensboro; Ashleigh Gallagher, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

Adopting healthy behaviors and thought patterns around food and nutrition takes time and intentional effort. But it will lead to more lasting change and positive outcomes than quick-fix dieting will.

Tucker Carlson at a Moscow grocery store, praising the bread. Screenshot, Tucker Carlson Network

How you can tell propaganda from journalism − let’s look at Tucker Carlson’s visit to Russia

Michael J. Socolow, University of Maine

Tucker Carlson’s sycophantic interview with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and his subsequent praise for Russia’s subways, supermarkets and cheeseburgers, was not journalism. It was propaganda.

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