🌏 India’s on the Moon

Plus: Labor demands are reflecting climate change.

Image for article titled 🌏 India’s on the Moon
Photo: Amit Dave (Reuters)

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India is the newest 21st century space power. The Chandrayaan-3 mission made it to the Moon. A few days ago, Russia’s competing mission didn’t. More on this below.

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Image for article titled 🌏 India’s on the Moon
Photo: POOL (Reuters)

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, who have been meeting in Johannesburg this week to talk economic shop, are thinking of letting others into their party.

The BRICS bloc is, for all intents and purposes, the rival to the G7, and is looking to wield more power over the US and its allies. At least two dozen countries across a broad spectrum of the developing world are lining up with their CVs in hand—and an economically sluggish China and Russia are eager to get them on board.


But not all of the BRICS boys (we’re groaning too) are so sure about new members. India and Brazil have waffled on the idea. And in any case, Narenda Modi and Vladimir Putin’s stand-in are probably having trouble talking about anything else except the Moon.

Speaking of that Moon…

Of all the things that aren’t easy, two come to mind: Being green and landing on the Moon.


If you need a reminder, Russia’s Luna-25 lander crashed into the Moon and was destroyed a few days ago after an orbital maneuver gone wrong. Roscosmos (Russia’s space agency) had hoped to beat ISRO (India’s) to the Moon’s south pole.

India got there first, landing a lander dubbed Vikram and a rover called Pragyan, calling the Chandrayaan-3 mission a success, and outstripping Russia as a space power in the 21st century. Measuring space power isn’t straightforward, and Russia has a much richer history of exploring the final frontier, but India’s ambitions are picking up steam and Russia’s economy isn’t.


Climate change is worming its way into labor demands

The union representing US-based United Parcel Service workers ratified a landmark contract that includes one increasingly vital provision in the workplace: air conditioning. UPS had originally relied on a series of heat-fighting measures—like drinking more water—that it called “Cool Solutions.” Drinking more water, by the way, does not help you when the wet bulb temperature indicates the heat and humidity are both so high your sweat has nowhere to go, so your body cannot cool down.


Unions pushing for air conditioning may indicate the tides are turning when it comes to industry standards for heat safety, but also shows pushing forward those changes will not be easy. OK, three things aren’t easy—being green, landing on the Moon, and getting safe labor conditions in a warming world.

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