Lunar Exploration Page

Lunar Exploration Timeline

Note: Launches of Soviet spacecraft occurred from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Tyuratam, USSR, unless noted.
Launches of US spacecraft occurred from Cape Canaveral, FL, unless noted.

Luna 2 	         USSR   -  Sep 12, 1959  -  Impact
  Impacted Moon 13 Sep 1959 at 22:02:04 UT
  Latitude 29.10 N, Longitude 0.00 - Palus Putredinis
Luna 3 	         USSR   -  Oct  4, 1959  -  Probe
  Launched at 2:24:00 UT.
Ranger 7         USA    -  Jul 28, 1964  -  Impact
  Impacted Moon 31 July 1964 at 13:25:49 UT
  Latitude 10.35 S, Longitude 339.42 E - Mare Cognitum (Sea of Clouds) 
Ranger 8         USA    -  Feb 17, 1965  -  Impact
  Impacted Moon 20 February 1965 at 09:57:37 UT
  Latitude 2.67 N, Longitude 24.65 E - (Sea of Tranquility
Ranger 9         USA    -  Mar 21, 1965  -  Impact
  Impacted Moon 24 March 1965 at 14:08:20 UT
  Latitude 12.83 S, Longitude 357.63 E - Alphonsus
Zond 3           USSR   -  Jul 18, 1965  -  Flyby
  Launched at 14:38:00 UT
Luna 9           USSR   -  Jan 31, 1966  -  Lander
  Launched at 11:45:00 UT
  Landed on Moon 03 Feb 1966 at 18:44:52 UT
  Latitude 7.08 N, Longitude 295.63 E - Oceanus Procellarum
  1st successful lunar landing.
Luna 10          USSR   -  Mar 31, 1966  -  Orbiter
  Launched at 10:48:00 UT
Surveyor 1       USA    -  May 30, 1966  -  Lander
  Landed 02 June 1966, 06:17:37 UT
  Latitude 2.45 S, Longitude 316.79 E - Flamsteed P
Lunar Orbiter 1  USA    -  Aug 10, 1966  -  Orbiter
Luna 11          USSR   -  Aug 24, 1966  -  Orbiter
  Launched at 8:09:00 UT
Surveyor 2       USA    -  Sep 20, 1966  -  Lander (aborted)
  Crashed on Moon 22 September 1966
  Engine failed to ignite - southeast of Copernicus Crater
Luna 12          USSR   -  Oct 22, 1966  -  Orbiter
  Launched at 08:38:00 UT.
Lunar Orbiter 2  USA    -  Nov  6, 1966  -  Orbiter
Luna 13          USSR   -  Dec 21, 1966  -  Lander
  Launched at 10:19:00 UT
  Landed on Moon 24 Dec 1966 at 18:01:00 UT
  Latitude 18.87 N, 297.95 E - Oceanus Procellarum
Lunar Orbiter 3  USA    -  Feb  4, 1967  -  Orbiter
Surveyor 3       USA    -  Apr 17, 1967  -  Lander
  Landed 20 April 1967, 00:04:53 UT
  Latitude 2.94 S, Longitude 336.66 E - Oceanus Procellarum 
Lunar Orbiter 4  USA    -  May  8, 1967  -  Orbiter
Surveyor 4       USA    -  July 14, 1967 -  Lander (aborted)
  Radio contact lost 17 July 1967
  2.5 minutes from touchdown - Sinus Medii
Lunar Orbiter 5  USA    -  Aug  1, 1967  -  Orbiter
Surveyor 5       USA    -  Sep 	8, 1967  -  Lander
  Landed 11 September 1967, 00:46:44 UT
  Latitude 1.41 N, Longitude 23.18 E - Sea of Tranquility
Surveyor 6       USA    -  Nov  7, 1967  -  Lander
  Landed 10 November 1967, 01:01:06 UT
  Latitude 0.46 N, Longitude 358.63 E - Sinus Medii
Surveyor 7       USA    -  Jan  7, 1968  -  Lander
  Landed 10 January 1968, 01:05:36 UT
  Latitude 41.01 S, Longitude 348.59 E - Tycho North Rim
Luna 14          USSR   -  Apr  7, 1968  -  Orbiter
Zond 5           USSR   -  Sep 15, 1968  -  Return Probe
  Satellite contained living biological specimens.
  Orbited Moon on Sep 18th. Returned to Earth Sep 21st with cargo intact.
Zond 6           USSR   -  Nov 10, 1968  -  Return Probe
  Like Zond 5, contained a biological payload, but the emphasis was more on
  surface photography. Orbited Moon Nov 14th; landed in USSR Nov 17th.
Apollo 8         USA    -  Dec 21, 1968  -  Manned Orbiter
Apollo 10        USA    -  May 18, 1969  -  Orbiter
Apollo 11        USA    -  Jul 16, 1969  -  Manned Landing
Zond 7           USSR   -  Aug  7, 1969  -  Return Probe
  Flew by Moon on Aug 11; returned to USSR on Aug 14th.
Apollo 12        USA    -  Nov 14, 1969  -  Manned Landing
Apollo 13        USA    -  Apr 11, 1970  -  Manned Landing (aborted)
Luna 16          USSR   -  Sep 12, 1970  -  Sample Return
  Landed on Moon 20 Sep 1970 at 05:18:00 UT
  Latitude 0.68 S, Longitude 56.30 E - Mare Fecunditatis
  Ascent stage landed in USSR on 24 Sep 1970
Zond 8           USSR   -  Oct 20, 1970  -  Return Probe
  Flew by Moon Oct 24; returned to Indian Ocean Oct 27th.
Luna 17          USSR   -  Nov 10, 1970  -  Rover
  Landed on Moon 17 Nov 1970 at 03:47:00 UT
  Latitude 38.28 N, Longitude 325.00 E - Mare Imbrium
  Ceased operating Oct 4, 1971
Apollo 14        USA    -  Jan 31, 1971  -  Manned Landing
Apollo 15        USA    -  Jul 26, 1971  -  Manned Landing
Luna 19          USSR   -  Sep 28, 1971  -  Orbiter
Luna 20          USSR   -  Feb 14, 1972  -  Sample Return
  Landed on Moon 21 Feb 1972 at 19:19:00 UT
  Latitude 3.57 N, Longitude 56.50 E - Mare Fecunditatis
  Ascent stage landed in USSR on Feb 25, 1972
Apollo 16        USA    -  Apr 16, 1972  -  Manned Landing
Apollo 17        USA    -  Dec  7, 1972  -  Manned Landing
Luna 21          USSR   -  Jan  8, 1973  -  Rover
  Landed on Moon 15 Jan 1973 at 23:35:00 UT
  Latitude 25.51 N, Longitude 30.38 E - Mare Serenitatis
Luna 22          USSR   -  Jun  2, 1974  -  Orbiter
Luna 24          USSR   -  Aug 14, 1976  -  Sample Return
  Launched at 14:04:00 UT
  Landed on Moon 18 Aug 1976 at 02:00:00 UT
  Latitude 12.25 N, Longitude 62.20 E - Mare Crisium
  Ascent stage landed in USSR on Aug 22, 1976.
Galileo          USA    -  Oct 18, 1989  -  Flyby
  Launched at 23:23:40 UT from Atlantis Shuttle.
  Imaged Moon on its trajectory to Jupiter.
Lunar Prospector USA    -  Jan  6, 1998  -  Lander
  Launched at 9:28:44 p.m. EST from Complex 46.

Space Accident Data: Non-planetary Missions

Clementine       USA    -  Jan 25, 1994  -  Orbiter
  Launched at 16:34 UT from Vandenburg AFB
  Originally slated to also flyby asteroid 1620 Geographos, a malfunction 
  in a thruster on May 7, 1994 14:39 UT resulted in abort of the asteroid 
  part of the mission.
GPS/Delta        USA    -  Jan 25, 1997  -  Earth satellite
  Launched at 11:28 am EST from Cape Canaveral.
  Exploded 21 sec after launch, spraying debris over the launch site and 
  neighboring Brevard County.
Titan 4A         USA    -  Aug 12, 1998  -  Top Secret Earth satellite
  Launched at 7:30 am EDT from Cape Canaveral.
  Rocket began to self-destruct 40 seconds into launch; had some problems 
  with toxic fuel debris. Cause of crash: electrical outage just before explosion.
Delta III        USA    -  Aug 26, 1998  -  Inaugural flight
  Launched at 9:17 pm EDT from Cape Canaveral.
  Exploded 1 minute into flight.
SMART-1          ESA    -  Sep 27, 2003  -  lunar science
  Launched 23:14 UT Kourou, French Guiana.

 

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