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Luna 9, the first spacecraft to land on the Moon
The first image taken of the far side of the Moon, returned by Luna 3

As part of human exploration of the Moon, numerous space missions have been undertaken to study Earth's natural satellite. Of the Moon landings; Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach its surface successfully, intentionally impacting the Moon on 13 September 1959. In 1966, Luna 9 became the first spacecraft to achieve a controlled soft landing, while Luna 10 became the first mission to enter orbit.

Between 1968 and 1972, manned missions to the Moon were conducted by the United States as part of the Apollo program. Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to enter orbit in December 1968, and was followed by Apollo 10 in May 1969. Six missions landed men on the Moon, beginning with Apollo 11 in July 1969, during which Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Apollo 13 was intended to land, however it was restricted to a flyby due to a malfunction aboard the spacecraft. All nine manned missions returned safely to the Earth.

While the United States focused on the manned Apollo program, the Soviet Union conducted unmanned missions that deployed rovers and returned samples to the Earth. Three rover missions were launched, of which two were successful, and eleven sample return flights were attempted with three successes.

Missions to the Moon have been conducted by the Soviet Union, United States, European Space Agency, Japan, India, People's Republic of China and Israel. The Moon has also been visited by five spacecraft not dedicated to studying it; four spacecraft have flown past it to gain gravity assistance, and a radio telescope, Explorer 49, was placed into selenocentric orbit in order to use the Moon to block interference from terrestrial radio sources.

Contents

Missions to dateEdit

Spacecraft Launch date[1] Carrier rocket[2] Operator Mission type Outcome
Pioneer 0
(Able I)[3]
17 August 1958 Thor DM-18 Able I[3]   USAF Orbiter Launch failure
First attempted launch beyond Earth orbit; failed to orbit due to turbopump gearbox malfunction resulting in first stage explosion.[3] Reached apogee of 16 kilometres (9.9 mi).[4]
Luna E-1 No.1 23 September 1958 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Launch failure
Failed to orbit; rocket disintegrated due to excessive vibration.[3][5]
Pioneer 1
(Able II)[3]
11 October 1958 Thor DM-18 Able I[3]   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit; premature second stage cutoff due to accelerometer failure. Later known as Pioneer 1.[3] Reached apogee of 113,800 kilometres (70,700 mi).[6]
Luna E-1 No.2 11 October 1958 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Launch failure
Failed to orbit; carrier rocket exploded due to excessive vibration.[3][5]
Pioneer 2
(Able III)
8 November 1958 Thor DM-18 Able I   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit; premature second stage cutoff due to erroneous command by ground controllers; third stage failed to ignite due to broken electrical connection.[3] Reached apogee of 1,550 kilometres (960 mi).[7]
Luna E-1 No.3 4 December 1958 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Launch failure
Failed to orbit; seal failure in hydrogen peroxide pump cooling system resulted in core stage underperformance.[3][5]
Pioneer 3 6 December 1958 Juno II   NASA Flyby Launch failure
Failed to orbit; premature first stage cutoff.[3] Reached apogee of 102,360 kilometres (63,600 mi).[8]
Mechta
(E-1 No.4)
2 January 1959 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Launch failure
Carrier rocket guidance problem resulted in failure to impact Moon, flew past in a heliocentric orbit, later known as Luna 1.[9] Closest approach 5,995 kilometres (3,725 mi) on 4 January.[10]
Pioneer 4 3 March 1959 Juno II   NASA Flyby Partial failure
Second stage overperformance resulted in flyby at greater altitude than expected, out of instrument range, with 58,983 kilometres (36,650 mi) of distance.[9] Closest approach at 22:25 UTC on 4 March. First U.S. spacecraft to leave Earth orbit.[11]
E-1A No.1 18 June 1959 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Launch failure
Failed to orbit; guidance system malfunction.[9]
Luna 2
(E-1A No.2)
12 September 1959 Luna   OKB-1 Impactor Successful
Successful impact at 21:02 on 14 September 1959. First spacecraft to reach lunar surface.[12]
Luna 3
(E-2A No.1)
4 October 1959 Luna   OKB-1 Flyby Successful
Returned first images of the far side of the Moon.[13]
Pioneer P-3
Able IVB
26 November 1959 Atlas-D Able   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit;[14] payload fairing disintegrated due to design fault.[9]
Luna E-3 No.1 15 April 1960 Luna   OKB-1 Flyby Launch failure
Failed to orbit; premature third stage cutoff.[15]
Luna E-3 No.2 16 April 1960 Luna   OKB-1 Flyby Launch failure
Failed to orbit; rocket disintegrated ten seconds after launch.[15]
Pioneer P-30
(Able VA)
25 September 1960 Atlas-D Able   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit; second stage oxidiser system malfunction resulting in premature cutoff.[16][15]
Pioneer P-31
(Able VB)
15 December 1960 Atlas-D Able   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit, exploded 68 seconds after launch, at an altitude of 12.2 kilometres (7.6 mi). Second stage ignited while first stage was still attached and burning.[17][15]
Ranger 3
(P-34)
26 January 1962 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Spacecraft failure
Partial launch failure due to guidance problem; attempt to correct using spacecraft's engine resulted in it missing the Moon by 36,793 kilometres (22,862 mi).[18][19]
Ranger 4
(P-35)
23 April 1962 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Spacecraft failure
Failed to deploy solar panels, ran out of power ten hours after launch; incidental impact on the far side of the Moon on 26 April.[18][20]
Ranger 5
(P-36)
18 October 1962 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Spacecraft failure
Solar panels erroneously disengaged from power system, failed ​8 34 hours after launch when batteries were depleted.[18] Missed the Moon as course correction was not completed.[21]
Luna E-6 No.2 4 January 1963 Molniya-L   OKB-1 Lander Launch failure
Failed to depart Low Earth orbit;[22] guidance system power failure prevented upper stage ignition.[23]
Luna E-6 No.3 3 February 1963 Molniya-L   OKB-1 Lander Launch failure
Failed to orbit; guidance failure.[23]
Luna 4
(E-6 No.4)
2 April 1963 Molniya-L   OKB-1 Lander Spacecraft failure
Failed to perform mid-course correction,[23] remained in high Earth orbit until given escape velocity by orbital perturbation.[24]
Ranger 6
(P-54)
30 January 1964 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Spacecraft failure
Impacted on 2 February 1964, failed to return images due to power system failure.[25][26]
Luna E-6 No.6 21 March 1964 Molniya-M   OKB-1 Lander Launch failure
Failed to orbit; third stage underperformed due to oxidiser valve failure.[25]
Luna E-6 No.5 20 April 1964 Molniya-M   OKB-1 Lander Launch failure
Failed to orbit; power failure caused by broken connection resulted in premature third stage cutoff.[25]
Ranger 7 28 July 1964 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Successful
Impacted on 30 July 1964 at 13:25:48 UTC.[27]
Ranger 8 17 February 1965 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Successful
Impacted on 20 February 1965 at 09:57:37 UTC.[28][29]
Kosmos 60
(E-6 No.9)
12 March 1965 Molniya-L   Lavochkin Lander Launch failure
Upper stage failed to restart due to guidance system short-circuit,[28] Failed to depart low Earth orbit.[30]
Ranger 9 21 March 1965 Atlas LV-3 Agena-B   NASA Impactor Successful
Impacted on 24 March 1965 at 14:08:20 UTC.[28][31]
Luna E-6 No.8 10 April 1965 Molniya-L   Lavochkin Lander Launch failure
Third stage failed to ignite due to loss of oxidiser pressure, failed to orbit.[28]
Luna 5
(E-6 No.10)
9 May 1965 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Lander Spacecraft failure
Loss of control after gyroscope malfunction,[28] failed to decelerate for landing and impacted the Moon at 19:10 UTC on 12 May 1965.[32]
Luna 6
(E-6 No.7)
8 June 1965 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Lander Spacecraft failure
Engine failed to shut down after performing mid-course correction manoeuvre,[28] flew past the Moon in a heliocentric orbit.[33]
Zond 3
(3MV-4 No.3)
18 July 1965 Molniya   Lavochkin Flyby Successful
Flew past the Moon on 20 July 1965 at a distance of 9,200 kilometres (5,700 mi).[34] Conducted technology demonstration for future planetary missions.[28]
Luna 7
(E-6 No.11)
4 October 1965 Molniya   Lavochkin Lander Spacecraft failure
Attitude control failure shortly before landing prevented controlled descent; impacted the lunar surface 22:08:24 UTC on 7 October 1965.[28][35]
Luna 8
(E-6 No.12)
3 December 1965 Molniya   Lavochkin Lander Spacecraft failure
Landing airbag punctured, resulting in loss of attitude control shortly before planned touchdown,[28] impacted Moon on 6 December 1965 at 21:51:30 UTC.[36]
Luna 9
(E-6 No.13)
31 January 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Lander Successful
First spacecraft to land successfully on the Moon. Touchdown on 3 February 1966 at 18:45:30 UTC.[37] Returned data until 6 February at 22:55 UTC.[38]
Kosmos 111
(E-6S No.204)
1 March 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Launch failure
Upper stage lost attitude control and failed to ignite;[38] spacecraft never left low Earth orbit.[39]
Luna 10
(E-6S No.206)
31 March 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Successful
Entered orbit at 18:44 UTC on 3 April 1966, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon.[40] Continued to return data until 30 May.[38]
Surveyor 1 30 May 1966 Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Successful
Landed in Oceanus Procellarum on 2 June 1966 at 06:17:36 UTC.[38] Returned data until loss of power on 13 July.[41]
Explorer 33
(AIMP-D)
1 July 1966 Delta E1   NASA Orbiter Launch failure
Magnetospheric probe; rocket imparted greater velocity than had been planned, leaving spacecraft unable to enter orbit.[38] Repurposed for Earth orbit mission which was completed successfully.[42]
Lunar Orbiter 1 10 August 1966 Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D   NASA Orbiter Partial failure
Orbital insertion at around 15:36 UTC on 14 August. Deorbited early due to lack of fuel and to avoid communications interference with the next mission, impacted the Moon at 13:30 UTC on 29 October 1966.[43]
Luna 11
(E-6LF No.101)
21 August 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Partial failure[note 1]
Entered orbit on 28 August 1966. Failed to return images; other instruments operated correctly.[38] Conducted gamma ray and X-ray observations to study the composition of the Moon, investigated the lunar gravitational field, the presence of meteorites in the lunar environment and the radiation environment at the Moon. Ceased operations on 1 October 1966 after power was depleted.[44]
Surveyor 2 20 September 1966 Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Spacecraft failure
One thruster failed to ignite during mid-course correction manoeuvre resulting in loss of control.[38] Impacted the Moon at 03:18 UTC on 23 September 1966.[45]
Luna 12
(E-6LF No.102)
22 October 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Successful
Entered orbit on 25 October 1966 and returned data until 19 January 1967.[46] Completed photography mission intended for Luna 11.[38]
Lunar Orbiter 2 6 November 1966 Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D   NASA Orbiter Successful
Entered orbit at about 19:51 UTC on 10 November 1966 to begin photographic mapping mission. Impacted on the far side of the lunar surface following deorbit burn on 11 October 1967 at end of mission.[47]
Luna 13
(E-6M No.205)
21 December 1966 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Lander Successful
Successfully landed in Oceanus Procellarum at 18:01 UTC on 24 December 1966.[38] Returned images from the surface and studied the lunar soil.[48] Operated until depletion of power at 06:31 UTC on 28 December.[38]
Lunar Orbiter 3 5 February 1967 Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D   NASA Orbiter Successful
Entered orbit at 21:54 UTC on 8 February 1967. Deorbited at end of mission and impacted the Moon on 9 October 1967.[49]
Surveyor 3 17 April 1967 Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Successful
Landed at 00:04 UTC on 20 April 1967 and operated until 3 May.[50][51] Visited by Apollo 12 astronauts in 1969, with some parts removed for return to Earth.[52]
Lunar Orbiter 4 4 May 1967 Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D   NASA Orbiter Successful
Entered orbit at 21:54 UTC on 8 May 1967, operated until 17 July. Decayed from orbit, with lunar impact occurring on 6 October 1967.[50][53]
Surveyor 4 14 July 1967 Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Spacecraft failure
Contact with spacecraft lost at 02:03 UTC on 17 July, two and a half minutes before scheduled landing.[50] NASA determined that the spacecraft may have exploded, otherwise it impacted the Moon.[54]
Explorer 35
(AIMP-E)
19 July 1967 Delta E1   NASA Orbiter Successful
Magnetospheric probe, studying the Moon and interplanetary space. Deactivated on 27 June 1973.[55] Presumed to have impacted the Moon during the 1970s.[56]
Lunar Orbiter 5 1 August 1967 Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D   NASA Orbiter Successful
Final mission in the Lunar Orbiter series, entered selenocentric orbit on 5 August at 16:48 UTC and conducted a photographic survey until 18 August. Deorbited and impacted the Moon on 31 January 1968.[57]
Surveyor 5 8 September 1967 Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Successful
Landed in Mare Tranquillitatis at 00:46:44 UTC on 11 September. Last signals received at 04:30 UTC on 17 December 1967.[58]
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.4L 27 September 1967 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Launch failure
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Failed to reach orbit after a blocked propellant line caused one of the first stage engines to not ignite.[50]
Surveyor 6 7 November 1967 Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Successful
Landed in Sinus Medii at 01:01:04 UTC on 10 November.[50] Made brief flight from lunar surface at 10:32 UTC on 17 November, followed by second landing after travelling 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in). Last contact at 19:14 UTC on 14 December.[59]
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.5L 22 November 1967 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Launch failure
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions; unable to achieve orbit after second stage engine failed to ignite.[50]
Surveyor 7 7 January 1968 Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D   NASA Lander Successful
Final Surveyor mission.[60] Landed 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Tycho crater at 01:05:36 UTC on 10 January. Operated until 21 February 1968.[61]
Luna E-6LS No.112 7 February 1968 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit after third stage ran out of fuel.[61]
Luna 14
(E-6LS No.113)
7 April 1968 Molniya-M   Lavochkin Orbiter Successful
Tested communications for proposed manned missions and studied the mass concentration of the Moon. Entered orbit on 10 April at 19:25 UTC.[62]
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.7L 22 April 1968 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Launch failure
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Failed to orbit after second stage engine incorrectly commanded to shut down. Spacecraft was recovered using its prototype launch escape system.[61]
Zond 5
(7K-L1 No.9L)
14 September 1968 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby, circled Successful
Two tortoises and other life forms on board a technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Made a closest approach of 1,850 kilometres (1,150 mi) on 18 September, and circled the Moon before returning to Earth. Landed in the Indian Ocean on 21 September at 16:08 UTC, becoming the first Lunar spacecraft to be recovered successfully and carried the first Earth life to travel to and around the Moon.[63]
Zond 6
(7K-L1 No.12L)
10 November 1968 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Spacecraft failure
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Flyby occurred on 14 November, with a closest approach of 2,420 kilometres (1,500 mi).[64] Reentered Earth's atmosphere on 17 November; however, recovery was unsuccessful after parachutes were prematurely jettisoned.[61]
Apollo 8 21 December 1968 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter Successful
First manned mission to the Moon; entered orbit around the Moon with four-minute burn beginning at 09:59:52 UTC on 24 December. Completed ten orbits of the Moon before returning to Earth with an engine burn at 06:10:16 UTC on 25 December. Landed in the Pacific Ocean at 15:51 UTC on 27 December.[65]
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.13L 20 January 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Launch failure
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Failed to orbit after one of the four second stage engines shut down prematurely. Third stage engine also shut down prematurely. The spacecraft was recovered using its launch escape system.[66]
Luna E-8 No.201 19 February 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Lander/rover Launch failure
First launch of the Lunokhod rover. Launch vehicle disintegrated 51 seconds after launch and exploded.[66]
Soyuz 7K-L1S No.3 21 February 1969 N1   OKB-1 Orbiter Launch failure
First launch of N1 rocket; intended to orbit the Moon and return to Earth. First stage prematurely shut down 70 seconds after launch; launch vehicle crashed 50 kilometres (31 mi) from launch site. Spacecraft landed some 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the launch pad after successfully using its launch escape system.[66]
Apollo 10 18 May 1969 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter Successful
Dress rehearsal for Apollo 11. Lunar Module with two astronauts on board descended to a distance of 14.326 kilometres (8.902 mi) above the lunar surface.[67]
Luna E-8-5 No.402 14 June 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Launch failure
Intended to land on the Moon and return lunar soil sample. Did not reach Earth orbit after fourth stage failed to ignite.[66]
Soyuz 7K-L1S No.5 3 July 1969 N1   OKB-1 Orbiter Launch failure
Intended to orbit the Moon and return to Earth. All first stage engines shut down 10 seconds after launch; launch vehicle crashed and exploded on the launch pad. Spacecraft landed safely 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the launch site after using launch escape sequence.[66]
Luna 15
(E-8-5 No.401)
13 July 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Spacecraft failure
Reached lunar orbit at 10:00 UTC on 17 July. Descent retro-rocket burn started at 15:47 UTC on 21 July. Contact lost 3 minutes after de-orbit burn; probably crashed on the Moon.[66]
Apollo 11 16 July 1969 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander Successful
First manned landing on the Moon. The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) Eagle landed at 20:17 UTC on 20 July 1969.
Zond 7
(7K-L1 No.11L)
7 August 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Successful
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions. Lunar flyby on 10 August, with a closest approach of 1,200 kilometres (750 mi); returned to Earth and landed in Kazakhstan at 18:13 UTC on 14 August.[66]
Kosmos 300
(E-8-5 No.403)
23 September 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Launch failure
Third attempt at lunar sample return. After reaching low Earth orbit, the fourth stage engine failed to fire for trans-lunar injection due to oxidiser leak. Spacecraft re-entered Earth's atmosphere about 4 days after launch.[66]
Kosmos 305
(E-8-5 No.404)
22 October 1969 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Launch failure
Fourth attempt at lunar sample return. After reaching low Earth orbit, the fourth stage engine failed to fire for trans-lunar injection due to control system malfunction. Spacecraft re-entered Earth's atmosphere within one orbit after launch.[66]
Apollo 12 14 November 1969 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander Successful
Second manned lunar landing.
Luna E-8-5 No.405 6 February 1970 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Launch failure
Failed to orbit.
Apollo 13 11 April 1970 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander Spacecraft failure
Lunar landing aborted following Service Module oxygen tank explosion enroute to the Moon; flew past the Moon (free-return trajectory) and returned the crew safely to Earth.
Luna 16
(E-8-5 No.406)
12 September 1970 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Successful
Zond 8
(7K-L1 No.14L)
20 October 1970 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Flyby Successful
Technology demonstration for planned manned missions; returned to Earth successfully.
Luna 17
(E-8 No.203)
10 November 1970 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Lander/rover Successful
Deployed Lunokhod 1.
Apollo 14 31 January 1971 Saturn V   NASA Manned Orbiter/Lander Successful
Third manned lunar landing.
Apollo 15 26 July 1971 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander/rover Successful
Fourth manned lunar landing.
PFS-1 26 July 1971 Saturn V   NASA Orbiter Successful
Deployed from Apollo 15.
Luna 18
(E-8-5 No.407)
2 September 1971 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Spacecraft failure
Failed during descent to lunar surface.
Luna 19
(E-8LS No.202)
28 September 1971 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Orbiter Successful
Luna 20
(E-8-5 No.408)
14 February 1972 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Successful
Apollo 16 16 April 1972 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander/rover Successful
Fifth manned lunar landing.
PFS-2 16 April 1972 Saturn V   NASA Orbiter Successful
Deployed from Apollo 16.
Soyuz 7K-LOK No.1 3 July 1972 N1   OKB-1 Orbiter Launch failure
Failed to orbit; intended to orbit the Moon and return to Earth.
Apollo 17 7 December 1972 Saturn V   NASA Manned orbiter/lander/rover Successful
Sixth and last manned lunar landing.
Luna 21
(E-8 No.204)
8 January 1973 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Lander/rover Successful
Deployed Lunokhod 2.
Explorer 49
(RAE-B)
10 June 1973 Delta 1913   NASA Orbiter Successful
Radio astronomy spacecraft, operated in selenocentric orbit to avoid interference from terrestrial radio sources.
Mariner 10
(RAE-B)
3 November 1973 Delta 1913   NASA Flyby Successful
Interplanetary spacecraft, mapped lunar north pole to test cameras.
Luna 22
(E-8LS No.206)
29 May 1974 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Orbiter Successful
Luna 23
(E-8-5M No.410)
28 October 1974 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Spacecraft failure
Tipped over upon landing.
Luna E-8-5M No.412 16 October 1975 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Launch failure
Failed to orbit.
Luna 24
(E-8-5M No.413)
9 August 1976 Proton-K/D   Lavochkin Sample return Successful
Final mission of the Luna programme. Entered orbit on 11 August 1976 and landed in Mare Crisium at 16:36 UTC on 18 August. Sample capsule launched at 05:25 UTC on 19 August and recovered ​96 12 hours later.[68] Returned 170.1 grams (6.00 oz) of lunar regolith.[69]
ISEE-3
(ICE/Explorer 59)
12 August 1978 Delta 2914   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Five flybys in 1982 and 1983 en route to comet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner.
Hiten
(MUSES-A)
24 January 1990 Mu-3S-II   ISAS Flyby/Orbiter Successful
Designed for flyby, placed into selenocentric orbit during extended mission after failure of Hagoromo. Deorbited and impacted in USGS quadrangle LQ27 on 10 April 1993.[70]
Hagoromo 24 January 1990 Mu-3S-II   ISAS Orbiter Spacecraft failure
Deployed from Hiten. Communications failure; entered selenocentric orbit but returned no data.
Geotail 24 July 1992 Delta II 6925     ISAS/NASA Gravity assist Successful
Series of flybys to regulate high Earth orbit.
WIND 1 November 1994 Delta II 7925-10   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Made two flybys on 1 December 1994 and 27 December 1994 to reach the Earth–Sun L1 Lagrangian point.
Clementine
(DSPSE)
25 January 1994 Titan II (23)G Star-37FM   USAF/NASA Orbiter Successful
Completed Lunar objectives successfully; failed following departure from selenocentric orbit.
HGS-1 24 December 1997 Proton-K/DM3   Hughes Gravity assist N/A
Communications satellite; made two flybys in May and June 1998 en route to geosynchronous orbit after delivery into wrong orbit.
Lunar Prospector
(Discovery 3)
7 January 1998 Athena II   NASA Orbiter Successful
Nozomi
(PLANET-B)
3 July 1998 M-V   ISAS Gravity assist Spacecraft failure
Two flybys en route to Mars.
WMAP 30 June 2001 Delta II 7425-10   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Flyby on 30 July 2001 to reach the Earth–Sun L2 Lagrangian point.
SMART-1 27 September 2003 Ariane 5G   ESA Orbiter Successful
Impacted moon in USGS quadrangle LQ26 at end of mission on 3 September 2006.
STEREO A 25 October 2006 Delta II 7925-10L   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Flyby on 15 December 2006 to enter a heliocentric orbit.
STEREO B 25 October 2006 Delta II 7925-10L   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Made two flybys on 15 December 2006 and 21 January 2007 to enter a heliocentric orbit.
ARTEMIS P1 17 February 2007 Delta II 7925   NASA Orbiter Operational
THEMIS spacecraft moved to selenocentric orbit for extended mission; entered orbit July 2011.
ARTEMIS P2 17 February 2007 Delta II 7925   NASA Orbiter Operational
THEMIS spacecraft moved to selenocentric orbit for extended mission; entered orbit July 2011.
SELENE
(Kaguya)
14 September 2007 H-IIA 2022   JAXA Orbiter Successful
Impacted the Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ30 at end of mission on 10 June 2009.[71]
Okina
(RSAT)
14 September 2007 H-IIA 2022   JAXA Orbiter Successful
Deployed from Kaguya, decayed and impacted Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ08 on 12 February 2009 after end of mission.
Ouna
(VRAD)
14 September 2007 H-IIA 2022   JAXA Orbiter Successful
Deployed from Kaguya, completed operations on 29 June 2009[72] but remains in selenocentric orbit.
Chang'e 1 24 October 2007 Long March 3A   CNSA Orbiter Successful
Impacted Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ21 on 1 March 2009, at end of mission.
Chandrayaan-1 21 October 2008 PSLV-XL   ISRO Orbiter Mostly successful
Succeeded through mission, terminated the mission in 2009, remains in selenocentric orbit; discovered water on Moon.[73]
Moon Impact Probe 21 October 2008 PSLV-XL   ISRO Impactor Successful
Deployed from Chandrayaan-1, impacted Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ30 on 14 November 2008.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter 18 June 2009 Atlas V 401   NASA Orbiter Operational
LCROSS 18 June 2009 Atlas V 401   NASA Impactor Successful
Observed impact of Centaur upper stage that launched it and LRO, then impacted itself. Impacts in USGS quadrangle LQ30.
Chang'e 2 1 October 2010 Long March 3C   CNSA Orbiter Successful
Following completion of six month Lunar mission, departed selenocentric orbit for Earth–Sun L2 Lagrangian point;[74] subsequently flew by asteroid 4179 Toutatis.[75]
Ebb
(GRAIL-A)
10 September 2011[76][77] Delta II 7920H   NASA Orbiter[78] Successful
Part of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory,[78] impacted the Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ01 on 17 December 2012 at end of mission.[79]
Flow
(GRAIL-B)
10 September 2011[76][77] Delta II 7920H   NASA Orbiter[78] Successful
Part of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory,[78] impacted the Moon in USGS quadrangle LQ01 on 17 December 2012 at end of mission.[79]
LADEE 7 September 2013 Minotaur V   NASA Orbiter Successful
Mission ended on 18 April 2014, when the spacecraft's controllers intentionally crashed LADEE into the far side of the Moon.
Chang'e 3 1 December 2013 Long March 3B   CNSA Lander Operational
Entered orbit on 6 December 2013 with landing at 13:12 UTC on 14 December.
Yutu 1 December 2013 Long March 3B   CNSA Rover Mostly successful
Deployed from the Chang'e 3 lander, which landed on the Moon.
Chang'e 5-T1 23 October 2014 Long March 3C   CNSA Flyby Operational
Demonstration of re-entry capsule for Chang'e 5 sample-return mission at lunar return velocity.
Manfred Memorial Moon Mission 23 October 2014 Long March 3C   LuxSpace Flyby Successful
Attached to third stage of CZ-3C used to launch Chang'e 5-T1.
TESS 18 April 2018 Falcon 9 Full Thrust   NASA Gravity assist Successful
Flyby on 17 May 2018 to designated high Earth orbit.[80]
Queqiao 21 May 2018 Long March 4C   CNSA Gravity assist / L2 orbit Operational
Entered designated Earth–Moon L2 orbit on June 14 in preparation of Chang'e 4 far-side lunar lander in December 2018.
Longjiang-1 21 May 2018 Long March 4C   CNSA Orbiter Spacecraft failure
Launched on the same rocket as Queqiao and Longjiang-2 but it never entered Moon orbit.[81]
Longjiang-2 21 May 2018 Long March 4C   CNSA Orbiter Operational
Launched on the same rocket as Queqiao and Longjiang-1.
Chang'e 4 7 December 2018 Long March 3B   CNSA Lander/rover Operational
Landed 3 January 2019 and deployed the Yutu-2 rover to explore a large basin on the far side of the Moon.[82][83]
Beresheet 22 February 2019 Falcon 9   SpaceIL Lander Spacecraft failure
First Israeli and first privately funded lunar lander mission. Technology demonstration. Instrumentation included a magnetometer and laser retroreflector.[84][85] Spacecraft crashed into the lunar surface after main engine failure during descent from lunar orbit phase.

Future missionsEdit

There are several future lunar missions scheduled or proposed by various nations or organisations.

Funded and under developmentEdit

RoboticEdit

Country Agency or company Name Launch due Launch vehicle Nature of mission
  India ISRO Chandrayaan-2 Q3, 2019 GSLV Mk III Lander, rover, in-situ analyses
  USA Moon Express Lunar Scout Q4, 2019[86] Electron Private lander technology demonstration; lander carries the International Lunar Observatory
  China CNSA Chang'e 5 December 2019[87] Long March 5 Sample-return
  USA NASA, ESA and CubeSat partners EM-1 June 2020[88] SLS Block 1 Primary: uncrewed test of Orion spacecraft in lunar flyby; secondary: 13 CubeSats[89][90]
  USA Astrobotic Technology Peregrine 2020[91] Atlas V Private technology demonstrators: Peregrine lander and 3+ rovers: Andy, Hakuto, Unity
  China CNSA Chang'e 6 2020[92] Long March 5 Sample-return from the lunar south pole
  Germany PTScientists ALINA[93] Q1 2020[94] Falcon 9 Private technology demonstration of lander and rover[95]
  South Korea KARI Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) December 2020[96] Falcon 9[97] Orbiter, technology demonstrator.
  Japan JAXA SLIM[98] 2021[99] H-IIA 202 Pinpoint landing, roving[100][101][102]
  Russia Roscosmos Luna 25 May 2021[103] Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Lander will explore natural resources, part of Luna-Glob programme.
  Russia Roscosmos Luna 26 2022[104] Soyuz-2 Orbiter, part of Luna-Glob programme.
  Japan JAXA DESTINY+ 2022 Epsilon Lunar flyby toward asteroid 3200 Phaethon[105]
  Russia Roscosmos Luna 27 2023[106] Soyuz[107] Lander, part of Luna-Glob programme.

CrewedEdit

Country Agency or company Name Launch due Launch vehicle Nature of mission
  USA NASA EM-2 June 2022[108] SLS Block 1 Crewed test of the Orion spacecraft on a free-return trajectory around the Moon.
  USA SpaceX DearMoon 2023[109] BFR Space tourism and art project; free-return trajectory and Earth re-entry of the BFR Starship.
  USA NASA EM-3 2024[110] SLS Block 1B Deliver European System Providing Refuelling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications (ESPRIT), the U.S. Utilization Module, and an airlock to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G).
  Russia Roscosmos Federation spacecraft 2025[111] Soyuz-5 Crewed lunar orbit

Proposed but full funding still unclearEdit

RoboticEdit

The following robotic space probe missions have been proposed:

Country Name Proposed launch Nature of mission
Private (International) Synergy Moon 2019 Rover
Private (India) TeamIndus 2019[112] Rover
Private (USA) Nova-C 2021[113][114] Commercial lunar lander
  China Chang'e 7 2023 South pole lander[115]
  USA NASA Lunar rover (unnamed) 2023 Polar rover to scout for water; mass: 300 kg - 500 kg [116]
  Russia Luna 28, Luna 29, Luna 30, Luna 31 2024-2026[103] Technology development for prospecting water and other natural resources needed for a future lunar base; part of Luna-Glob program.
  China Chang'e 8 2026 South pole lander[115]
  North Korea Moon Mission[117] 2026 [118]
  USA MoonRise May compete in New Frontiers program NF5 selection in the late 2020s[119] Sample return from South Pole–Aitken basin[120]
  USA BOLAS TBD Two tethered CubeSats on a very low lunar orbit.[121]

CrewedEdit

Country Name Proposed
launch date
Nature of proposed mission
  Russia Luna-Glob 2030s[122] Crewed lunar orbiter[122][123]
  Russia Luna-Glob 2030s[122] Crewed lunar landing[122][123]
  Japan JAXA 2030s[124] Crewed lunar landing[124][125]
  China CLEP 2030s Crewed lunar landing[126][127]

Cancelled or indefinitely postponedEdit

Country Name Suggested launch year Notes
  Japan Lunar-A 2004 Integrated into Russia's Luna-Glob 1 mission[128]
  Germany LEO 2012 Mission postponed indefinitely due to budgetary constraints[129]
  UK MoonLITE 2014 Orbiter[130][131]
  USA Constellation program 2020 Cancelled by Obama Administration; efforts routed to the Orion spacecraft.[132]
  Europe Lunar Lander[133][134] 2018 Cancelled in 2012
  USA, Space Adventures (Private) DSE-Alpha 2018[135] Mission to transport the first space tourists to fly around the Moon using Soyuz; proposed by Space Adventures (2005).[136][137][138]
Private (UK) Lunar Mission One[139][140] 2024[141] Lander. Cancelled due to tax issues on money obtained from crowdsourcing.
  USA Resource Prospector 2020s[142] Rover for in-situ resource utilization demonstration, cancelled in 2018,[143] but its scientific instruments will be flown on several future commercial landers,[144][145] as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services.
  Japan SELENE-2 2020s[146] Orbiter, lander and rover.[147] Cancelled in March 2015.[148]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Imaging was primary objective.

ReferencesEdit

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