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Russia heads to the moon to find water



Russia has taken a significant step towards lunar exploration, launching its first moon-landing spacecraft in nearly half a century with a mission to uncover water ice reserves on the moon’s southern pole.

This ambitious endeavor pits Russia against other major players like India, the United States, and China in a race to harness the potential of the moon’s untapped resources.

The Luna-25 craft, propelled by a Soyuz 2.1 rocket, lifted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome, situated 3,450 miles east of Moscow. This marks Russia’s maiden lunar mission since 1976. The primary goal is to achieve a soft landing on the moon’s south pole, a region believed to harbor valuable pockets of water ice.

India has already joined the race, having launched its Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander last month. Moreover, the United States and China are deeply engaged in their advanced lunar exploration programs, targeting the same lunar region.

The launch took place at 2:11 a.m. Moscow time, with the Luna-25 eventually exiting Earth’s orbit and being taken under mission control’s supervision by Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. Yuri Borisov, Russia’s space chief, shared that the lander is expected to touch down on the moon’s surface on August 21, a date awaited with anticipation.

Yuri Borisov expressed his optimism, stating, “Now we will wait for the 21st. I hope that a highly precise soft landing on the moon will take place. We hope to be first.”

Sized similarly to a small car, Luna-25 aims to operate for a year on the moon’s south pole, an area where recent findings by NASA and other space agencies have indicated the presence of water ice in the shadowed craters.

The stakes are high for the Luna-25 mission, particularly as the Russian economy remains resilient against Western sanctions triggered by the Ukraine conflict. This mission showcases Russia’s growing autonomy in space, following the breakdown of its space ties with the West post the 2022 Ukraine invasion.

The European Space Agency’s detachment from the project further underscores the geopolitical complexities at play.

Asif Siddiqi, a history professor at Fordham University, noted, “Russia’s aspirations towards the moon are mixed up in a lot of different things. I think first and foremost, it’s an expression of national power on the global stage.”

The quest for lunar exploration has intrigued scientists for centuries, with the search for water on the moon gaining prominence. Recent years have seen major powers like the United States, China, India, Japan, and the European Union delve into lunar investigations.

Elusive mission

Although several attempts have been made, achieving a soft landing on the moon’s south pole has remained elusive.

The lunar south pole’s rugged terrain poses challenges, but the rewards could be groundbreaking: water ice could serve as a source of fuel, oxygen, and even drinking water. With plans for three more lunar missions over the next seven years and a collaborative effort with China for a crewed lunar mission,

Russia’s lunar ambitions seem poised for continued growth.

Maxim Litvak, head of the Luna-25 scientific equipment planning group, emphasized the mission’s core objective, saying, “There are signs of ice in the soil of the Luna-25 landing area.”

Luna-25 is slated to explore the moon for a year, collecting samples and conducting tests.

With a projected five-day journey to the moon, Luna-25’s timeline suggests it could potentially outpace its Indian counterpart, Chandrayaan-3, to the moon’s surface.

The craft will spend 5-7 days in lunar orbit before descending to one of three potential landing sites near the pole.

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Ultra-processed diets could be the hidden path to weight gain



Understanding calories and their role in dieting on the human body.

Calories, units of energy from food, are vital for bodily functions, and calorie counting helps manage weight by tracking energy intake. However, recent insights reveal that not all calories are equal, and nutritional quality is crucial.

Processed foods, rich in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium, lack essential nutrients, contributing to obesity and diseases.

Kate Save from BeFitFood joins to discuss.

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Online shopping and the pivotal issue of returns continues



Big businesses are continuing to balance customer expectations and logistics.

While many love the convenience, there are still significant challenges with delivery and returns. From delayed packages to cumbersome return processes, its clear that there’s room for improvement.

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss.

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U.S. joins Europeans to censure Iran at UN watchdog



Global concerns are growing over Iran’s nuclear activities.

In a rare move, the U.S. joined European allies in censuring Iran at the UN nuclear watchdog, citing Iran’s lack of cooperation with nuclear inspectors.

This decision underscores growing concerns over Iran’s nuclear activities and signals a unified stance among Western nations.

Despite fears of further escalation, the U.S. supported the resolution to pressure Iran into compliance with international nuclear agreements.

Andrew Ghalili, Senior Policy Analyst, with the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) joins Veronica Dudo to discuss.

#IN AMERICA TODAY #trending #Iran #nuclear

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