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Key Events This Holiday-Shortened Week: Earnings Galore, Central Banks And UK Inflation

Key Events This Holiday-Shortened Week: Earnings Galore, Central Banks And UK Inflation

While the US is closed for MLK Day on Monday, the week kicked off with China’s monthly data dump but the PBOC upstaged this by surprisingly cutting rates.

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Key Events This Holiday-Shortened Week: Earnings Galore, Central Banks And UK Inflation

While the US is closed for MLK Day on Monday, the week kicked off with China's monthly data dump but the PBOC upstaged this by surprisingly cutting rates on its medium term loans ahead of the GDP release. In the first move since April 2020 - which we said would happen one month ago - the PBOC lowered its one-year medium term lending facility (MLF) rate by 10bps to 2.85% from 2.95% and slashed the seven-day repurchase rate to 2.1% from 2.2%.

Additionally, as DB's Jim Reid writes, the central bank injected 700 bn yuan ($110 bn) worth of liquidity via the MLF and added 100 billion yuan of liquidity via reverse repos. Separately, data showed Q4 GDP expanded +4.0% y/y beating Bloomberg forecast of 3.3%. However, the rise was more muted in the last three months (+4.9%) as a real estate downturn combined with strict Covid-19 curbs hit activity.

Other economic data showed that industrial production in China jumped by +4.3% in December from a year ago surpassing market expectations of a +3.7% growth. In addition to this, Fixed asset investment for 2021 advanced by +4.9%, topping market expectations for +4.8% rise. However, retail sales missed expectations (+3.8%) with only a +1.7% gain in December from a year earlier, its slowest increase since August 2020.

In terms of the rest of the week, earnings season will begin to gather some momentum, with 39 S&P 500 companies reporting. The highlights are Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon tomorrow, before we hear from UnitedHealth Group, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, ASML, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, US Bancorp and United Airlines on Wednesday. Finally on Thursday, there’s reports from Netflix, Union Pacific and American Airlines Group.

Elsewhere the Bank of Japan will be making its latest monetary policy decision on Tuesday (Monday east coast time) which is unlikely to see much change now but reputable press reports are suggesting they are ready to become more hawkish in the coming months with a credible Reuters story late last week suggested they are prepared to raise rates before inflation reaches 2% (good luck with that). This is still someway off but if the BoJ can become more hawkish then that says something about the global direction of travel for monetary policy.

Otherwise on the data front, releases include US housing data, leading indicators and Empire Manufacturing. There is a monetary policy meeting in Japan. CPI data in the UK, the Euro area and Canada. That’ll also be the last CPI reading ahead of the BoE’s next policy decision on February 3, where many economist are expecting a further 25 basis point hike. In Emerging Markets, there are monetary policy meetings in Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Ukraine. GDP and IP data in China.

Here is a day by day breakdown of key events this week courtesy of Deutsche Bank:

Monday January 17

  • Data: China Q4 GDP, December retail sales, industrial production, Japan November tertiary industry index
  • Other: US markets closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday January 18

  • Data: UK November unemployment, Germany January ZEW survey, US January Empire State manufacturing survey, NAHB housing market index
  • Central Banks: Bank of Japan monetary policy decision, ECB’s Villeroy speaks
  • Earnings: Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon

Wednesday January 19

  • Data: UK December CPI, US December building permits, housing starts, Canada December CPI
  • Central Banks: BoE Governor Bailey and Deputy Governor Cunliffe speak
  • Earnings: UnitedHealth Group, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, ASML, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, US Bancorp, United Airlines

Thursday January 20

  • Data: Germany December PPI, Euro Area final December CPI, US weekly initial jobless claims, January Philadelphia Fed business outlook, December existing home sales, Japan December nationwide CPI (23:30 UK time)
  • Central Banks: Monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and Bank Indonesia, ECB publishes minutes from December meeting, BoJ publishes minutes from December meeting (23:50 UK time)
  • Earnings: Netflix, Union Pacific, American Airlines Group

Friday January 21

  • Data: UK January GfK consumer confidence, December retail sales, Euro Area advance January consumer confidence, US December Conference Board leading index
  • Central Banks: BoE’s Mann speaks

Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman notes that key economic data release this week is the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index on Thursday. There are no major speaking engagements from Fed officials this week, reflecting the FOMC blackout period.

Monday, January 17

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. There are no major economic data releases scheduled. NYSE will be closed. SIFMA recommends bond markets also close.

Tuesday, January 18

  • 08:30 AM Empire State manufacturing survey, January (consensus +25.0, last +31.9)
  • 10:00 AM NAHB housing market index, January (consensus 84, last 84)

Wednesday, January 19

  • 08:30 AM Housing starts, December (GS +0.5%, consensus -1.7%, last +11.8%): Building permits, December (consensus -1.0%, last +3.9%): We estimate housing starts increased by 0.5% in December, reflecting warmer than usual December weather and increased permits in November.

Thursday, January 20

  • 08:30 AM Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, January (GS 14.4, consensus 19.8, last 15.4): We estimate that the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined by 1.0 to 14.4 in January, reflecting a drag from Omicron and a potential further pullback in auto production.
  • 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended January 15 (GS 240k, consensus 220k, last 230k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended January 8 (consensus 1,521k, last 1,559k); We estimate initial jobless claims increased to 240k in the week ended January 15.
  • 10:00 AM Existing home sales, December (GS flat, consensus -0.8%, last +1.9%): We estimate that existing home sales were flat in December, following a 1.9% increase in November.

Friday, January 21

  • There are no major economic data releases scheduled.

Source: Deutsche Bank, BofA, Goldman

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:00

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Nigerian gov supports AI initiatives with $290K in grants

The recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme is designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

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The recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme is designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of AI to drive economic advancement.

The Nigerian Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, revealed on Friday, Oct.13, that the Federal Government intends to grant a sum of $6,444 (5 million naira) each to 45 artificial intelligence (AI) focused startups and researchers. This figure makes a total of $289,980 (225 million naira) being given out for the purpose of AI.

This information was disclosed by the minister in a post on X. The recently introduced Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme is designed to facilitate the widespread utilization of Artificial Intelligence to drive economic advancement.

As outlined on the scheme's official website, the focal areas encompass Agriculture, Education and Workforce, Finance, Governance, Healthcare, Utility and Sustainability. To be eligible for the grant, applicants are required to form a consortium, comprising a startup or tech company, a researcher from a Nigerian university, or a foreign researcher, as stated by the Ministry.

Applicants should present a research proposal in line with the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy's AI focus areas. Furthermore, they must provide a comprehensive project proposal that highlights the project's potential economic impact in Nigeria.

In addition, a proven track record of excellence in research or entrepreneurship is a requirement. Finally, applicants are expected to publish at least one peer-reviewed article within one year of grant receipt.

In August, the Nigerian government extended an invitation to scientists of Nigerian heritage, as well as globally renowned experts who have worked within the Nigerian market, to collaborate in the formulation of its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

Related: China sets stricter rules for training generative AI models

The application period commences on Oct.13, 2023, and concludes on Nov. 15, 2023. All submissions should be made through the specified online platform. The Ministry has indicated that a panel of AI specialists will assess the proposals. Those who make it to the shortlist will receive email notifications and be invited for interviews.

Magazine: ‘AI has killed the industry’: EasyTranslate boss on adapting to change

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Escobar: The Geopolitics Of Al-Aqsa Flood

Escobar: The Geopolitics Of Al-Aqsa Flood

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle,

Global focus just shifted from Ukraine to Palestine. This…

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Escobar: The Geopolitics Of Al-Aqsa Flood

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Cradle,

Global focus just shifted from Ukraine to Palestine. This new arena of confrontation will ignite further competition between the Atlanticist and Eurasian blocs. These fights are increasingly zero-sum ones; as in Ukraine, only one pole can emerge strengthened and victorious.

Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was meticulously planned. The launch date was conditioned by two triggering factors. 

  • First was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flaunting his 'New Middle East' map at the UN General Assembly in September, in which he completely erased Palestine and made a mockery of every single UN resolution on the subject. 

  • Second are the serial provocations at the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, including the straw that broke the camel’s back: two days before Al-Aqsa Flood, on 5 October, at least 800 Israeli settlers launched an assault around the mosque, beating pilgrims, destroying Palestinian shops, all under the observation of Israeli security forces.

Everyone with a functioning brain knows Al-Aqsa is a definitive red line, not just for Palestinians, but for the entire Arab and Muslim worlds. 

It gets worse. The Israelis have now invoked the rhetoric of a “Pearl Harbor.” This is as threatening as it gets. The original Pearl Harbor was the American excuse to enter a world war and nuke Japan, and this “Pearl Harbor” may be Tel Aviv’s justification to launch a Gaza genocide.  

Sections of the west applauding the upcoming ethnic cleansing – including Zionists posing as “analysts” saying out loud that the “population transfers” that began in 1948 “must be completed” – believe that with massive weaponry and massive media coverage, they can turn things around in short shrift, annihilate the Palestinian resistance, and leave Hamas allies like Hezbollah and Iran weakened. 

Their Ukraine Project has sputtered, leaving not just egg on powerful faces, but entire European economies in ruin.

Yet as one door closes, another one opens: Jump from ally Ukraine to ally Israel, and hone your sights on adversary Iran instead of adversary Russia.  

There are other good reasons to go all guns blazing. 

A peaceful West Asia means Syria reconstruction – in which China is now officially involved; active redevelopment for Iraq and Lebanon; Iran and Saudi Arabia as part of BRICS 11; the Russia-China strategic partnership fully respected and interacting with all regional players, including key US allies in the Persian Gulf.

Incompetence. Willful strategy. Or both.

That brings us to the cost of launching this new “war on terror.” The propaganda is in full swing. For Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Hamas is ISIS. For Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Hamas is Russia. Over one October weekend, the war in Ukraine was completely forgotten by western mainstream media. Brandenburg Gate, the Eiffel tower, the Brazilian Senate are all Israeli now. 

Egyptian intel claims it warned Tel Aviv about an imminent attack from Hamas. The Israelis chose to ignore it, as they did the Hamas training drills they observed in the weeks prior, smug in their superior knowledge that Palestinians would never have the audacity to launch a liberation operation.

Whatever happens next, Al-Aqsa Flood has already, irretrievably, shattered the hefty pop mythology around the invincibility of Tsahal, Mossad, Shin Bet, Merkava tank, Iron Dome, and the Israel Defense Forces. 

Even as it ditched electronic communications, Hamas profited from the glaring collapse of Israel’s multi-billion-dollar electronic systems monitoring the most surveilled border on the planet. 

Cheap Palestinian drones hit multiple sensor towers, facilitated the advance of a paragliding infantry, and cleared the way for T-shirted, AK-47-wielding assault teams to inflict breaks in the wall and cross a border that even stray cats dared not. 

Israel, inevitably, turned to battering the Gaza Strip, an encircled cage of 365 square kilometers packed with 2.3 million people. The indiscriminate bombing of refugee camps, schools, civilian apartment blocks, mosques, and slums has begun. Palestinians have no navy, no air force, no artillery units, no armored fighting vehicles, and no professional army. They have little to no high-tech surveillance access, while Israel can call up NATO data if they want it. 

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant proclaimed “a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we will act accordingly.”

The Israelis can merrily engage in collective punishment because, with three guaranteed UNSC vetoes in their back pocket, they know they can get away with it. 

It doesn’t matter that Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper, straight out concedes that “actually the Israeli government is solely responsible for what happened (Al-Aqsa Flood) for denying the rights of Palestinians.”

The Israelis are nothing if not consistent. Back in 2007, then-Israeli Defense Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said, “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza because IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.” 

Ukraine funnels weapons to Palestinians

Only one year ago, the sweaty sweatshirt comedian in Kiev was talking about turning Ukraine into a “big Israel,” and was duly applauded by a bunch of Atlantic Council bots. 

Well, it turned out quite differently. As an old-school Deep State source just informed me:

“Ukraine-earmarked weapons are ending up in the hands of the Palestinians. The question is which country is paying for it. Iran just made a deal with the US for six billion dollars and it is unlikely Iran would jeopardize that. I have a source who gave me the name of the country but I cannot reveal it. The fact is that Ukrainian weapons are going to the Gaza Strip and they are being paid for but not by Iran." 

After its stunning raid last weekend, a savvy Hamas has already secured more negotiating leverage than Palestinians have wielded in decades. Significantly, while peace talks are supported by China, Russia, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt - Tel Aviv refuses. Netanyahu is obsessed with razing Gaza to the ground, but if that happens, a wider regional war is nearly inevitable. 

Lebanon’s Hezbollah – a staunch Resistance Axis ally of the Palestinian resistance - would rather not be dragged into a war that can be devastating on its side of the border, but that could change if Israel perpetrates a de facto Gaza genocide. 

Hezbollah holds at least 100,000 ballistic missiles and rockets, from Katyusha (range: 40 km) to Fajr-5 (75 km), Khaibar-1 (100 km), Zelzal 2 (210 km), Fateh-110 (300 km), and Scud B-C (500 km). Tel Aviv knows what that means, and shudders at the frequent warnings by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that its next war with Israel will be conducted inside that country.   

Which brings us to Iran. 

Geopolitical plausible deniability

The key immediate consequence of Al-Aqsa Flood is that the Washington neocon wet dream of “normalization” between Israel and the Arab world will simply vanish if this turns into a Long War.

Large swathes of the Arab world in fact are already normalizing their ties with Tehran – and not only inside the newly expanded BRICS 11. 

In the drive towards a multipolar world, represented by BRICS 11, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among other groundbreaking Eurasian and Global South institutions, there’s simply no place for an ethnocentric Apartheid state fond of collective punishment.    

Just this year, Israel found itself disinvited from the African Union summit. An Israeli delegation showed up anyway, and was unceremoniously ejected from the big hall, a visual that went viral. At the UN plenary sessions last month, a lone Israeli diplomat sought to disrupt Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s speech. No western ally stood by his side, and he too, was ejected from the premises. 

As Chinese President Xi Jinping diplomatically put it in December 2022, Beijing “firmly supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations.”

Tehran’s strategy is way more ambitious – offering strategic advice to West Asian resistance movements from the Levant to the Persian Gulf: Hezbollah, Ansarallah, Hashd al-Shaabi, Kataib Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and countless others. It’s as if they are all part of a new Grand Chessboard de facto supervised by Grandmaster Iran. 

The pieces in the chessboard were carefully positioned by none other than the late Quds Force Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani, a once-in-a-lifetime military genius. He was instrumental in creating the foundations for the cumulative successes of Iranian allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine, as well as creating the conditions for a complex operation such as Al-Aqsa Flood. 

Elsewhere in the region, the Atlanticist drive of opening strategic corridors across the Five Seas - the Caspian, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Eastern Mediterranean - is floundering badly. 

Russia and Iran are already smashing US designs in the Caspian – via the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) – and the Black Sea, which is on the way to becoming a Russian lake. Tehran is paying very close attention to Moscow’s strategy in Ukraine, even as it refines its own strategy on how to debilitate the Hegemon without direct involvement: call it geopolitical plausible deniability.   

Bye bye EU-Israel-Saudi-India corridor

The Russia-China-Iran alliance has been demonized as the new “axis of evil” by western neocons. That infantile rage betrays cosmic impotence. These are Real Sovereigns that can’t be messed with, and if they are, the price to pay is unthinkable. 

A key example: if Iran under attack by a US-Israeli axis decided to block the Strait of Hormuz, the global energy crisis would skyrocket, and the collapse of the western economy under the weight of quadrillions of derivatives would be inevitable. 

What this means, in the immediate future, is that he American Dream of interfering across the Five Seas does not even qualify as a mirage. Al-Aqsa Flood has also just buried the recently-announced and much-ballyhooed EU-Israel-Saudi Arabia-India transportation corridor. 

China is keenly aware of all this incandescence taking place only a week before its 3rd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. At stake are the BRI connectivity corridors that matter – across the Heartland, across Russia, plus the Maritime Silk Road and the Arctic Silk Road. 

Then there’s the INSTC linking Russia, Iran and India – and by ancillary extension, the Gulf monarchies. 

The geopolitical repercussions of Al-Aqsa Flood will speed up Russia, China and Iran’s interconnected geoeconomic and logistical connections, bypassing the Hegemon and its Empire of Bases. Increased trade and non-stop cargo movement are all about (good) business. On equal terms, with mutual respect - not exactly the War Party’s scenario for a destabilized West Asia.  

Oh, the things that a slow-moving paragliding infantry overflying a wall can accelerate.  

*  *  *

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 23:20

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Visualizing All Attempted & Successful Moon Landings

Visualizing All Attempted & Successful Moon Landings

Since before Ancient Greece and the first Chinese Dynasties, people have sought to…

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Visualizing All Attempted & Successful Moon Landings

Since before Ancient Greece and the first Chinese Dynasties, people have sought to understand and learn more about the moon.

Curiosity and centuries of study culminated in the first moon landing in the 1960s. But there have been many other attempted moon landings, both before and after.

This chart by Visual Capitalists' Preyash Shah illustrates all the moon landings using NASA data since 1966 when Soviet lander Luna 9 touched down.

Race to the Moon

The 1960s and 1970s marked an era of intense competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as they raced to conquer the moon.

During the Cold War, space became a priority as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower, and its political-economic system.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy set a national goal to have a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

After several failed attempts from both sides, on July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission was successful and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon.

Mission Launch Date Operator Country Mission Type Outcome
Ranger 3 26-Jan-62 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Spacecraft failure
Ranger 4 23-Apr-62 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Spacecraft failure
Ranger 5 18-Oct-62 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna E-6 No.2 4-Jan-63 OKB-1 ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna E-6 No.3 3-Feb-63 OKB-1 ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna 4 2-Apr-63 OKB-1 ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna E-6 No.6 21-Mar-64 OKB-1 ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna E-6 No.5 20-Apr-64 OKB-1 ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Kosmos 60 12-Mar-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna E-6 No.8 10-Apr-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 5 9-May-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 6 8-Jun-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 7 4-Oct-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 8 3-Dec-65 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 9 31-Jan-66 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Surveyor 1 30-May-66 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Successful
Surveyor 2 20-Sep-66 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 13 21-Dec-66 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Surveyor 3 17-Apr-67 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Successful
Surveyor 4 14-Jul-67 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Spacecraft failure
Surveyor 5 8-Sep-67 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Successful
Surveyor 6 7-Nov-67 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Successful
Surveyor 7 7-Jan-68 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander Successful
Luna E-8 No.201 19-Feb-69 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna E-8-5 No.402 14-Jun-69 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna 15 13-Jul-69 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Apollo 11 16-Jul-69 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Kosmos 300 23-Sep-69 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Kosmos 305 22-Oct-69 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Apollo 12 14-Nov-69 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Luna E-8-5 No.405 6-Feb-70 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Apollo 13 11-Apr-70 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Partial failure
Luna 16 12-Sep-70 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Luna 17 10-Nov-70 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Apollo 14 31-Jan-71 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Apollo 15 26-Jul-71 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Luna 18 2-Sep-71 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Spacecraft failure
Luna 20 14-Feb-72 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Apollo 16 16-Apr-72 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Apollo 17 7-Dec-72 NASA ???????? U.S. Lander/
Launch Vehicle
Successful
Luna 21 8-Jan-73 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Luna 23 16-Oct-75 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Partial failure
Luna E-8-5M No.412 16-Oct-75 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Launch failure
Luna 24 9-Aug-76 Lavochkin ☭ USSR Lander Successful
Chang'e 3 1-Dec-13 CNSA ???????? China Lander Operational
Chang'e 4 7-Dec-18 CNSA ???????? China Lander Operational
Beresheet 22-Feb-19 SpaceIL ???????? Israel Lander Spacecraft failure
Chandrayaan-2 22-Jul-19 ISRO ???????? India Lander Spacecraft Failure
Chang'e 5 23-Nov-20 CNSA ???????? China Lander Successful
Hakuto-R Mission 1 11-Dec-22 ispace ???????? Japan Lander Spacecraft failure
Chandrayaan-3 14-Jul-23 ISRO ???????? India Lander Successful
Luna 25 10-Aug-23 Roscosmos ???????? Russia Lander Spacecraft failure

After the Apollo missions, the fervor of lunar exploration waned. From 1976 to 2013, no moon landing attempts occurred due to budget constraints, shifting priorities, and advances in robotic missions.

However, a new chapter in space exploration has unfolded in recent years, with emerging players entering the cosmic arena. With its Chang’e missions, China has made significant strides, landing rovers on the moon and exploring the far side of the moon.

India, too, has asserted its presence with the Chandrayaan missions. In 2023, the country became the 4th nation to reach the moon as an unmanned spacecraft landed near the lunar south pole, advancing the country’s space ambitions to learn more about the lunar ice, potentially one of the moon’s most valuable resources.

Exploring Lunar Water

Since the 1960s, even before the historic Apollo landing, scientists had theorized the potential existence of water on the moon.

In 2008, Brown University researchers employed advanced technology to reexamine lunar samples, discovering hydrogen within beads of volcanic glass. And in 2009, a NASA instrument aboard the India’s Chandrayaan-1 probe confirmed the presence of water on the moon’s surface.

Water is deemed crucial for future space exploration. Beyond serving as a potential source of drinking water for future moon explorations, ice deposits could play a pivotal role in cooling equipment. Lunar ice could also be broken down to produce hydrogen for fuel and oxygen for breathing, essential for supporting extended space missions.

With a reinvigorated interest in exploring the moon, manned moon landings are on the horizon once again. In April 2023, NASA conducted tests for the launch of Artemis I, the first American spacecraft to aim for the moon since 1972. The agency aims to send astronauts to the moon around 2025 and build a base camp on the lunar surface.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/14/2023 - 22:45

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