1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

1950s: Dawn of the Space Age

Black and white image of three men holding a small spacecraft.
Dr. Wernher von Braun, John Casani and Dr. James Van Allen inspect components of the Pioneer IV spacecraft on March 1, 1959.
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
Pioneer 0 USA Aug. 17, 1958 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR Sept. 23, 1958 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Pioneer 1 USA Oct. 11, 1958 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR Oct. 11, 1958 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Pioneer 2 USA Nov. 8, 1958 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR Dec. 4, 1958 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Pioneer 3 USA Dec. 7, 1958 N/A Flyby Unsuccessful
Luna 1 USSR Jan. 2, 1959 Jan. 4, 1959 Impact Partial Success; first Moon flyby
Pioneer 4 USA March 3, 1959 Mar. 4., 1959 Flyby Partial Sucess
Unnamed Luna USSR June 18, 1959 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Luna 2 USSR Sept. 12, 1959 Sept. 13, 1959 Impact Successful; first spacecraft to impact the Moon's surface
Pioneer P-1 USA Sept. 24, 1959 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Luna 3 USSR Oct. 4, 1959 Oct. 6, 1959 Flyby Successful; first pictures of the lunar farside.
Pioneer P-3 USA Nov. 26, 1959 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful

1960s: Race to the Moon

Black and white image of astronaut standing next to robotic spacecraft on the Moon.
Apollo 12 commander Charles Conrad Jr. examines the robotic Surveyor 3 spacecraft during his second extravehicular activity (EVA) on the Moon on 20 November 1969.
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
Unnamed Luna USSR April 15, 1960 N/A Flyby Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR April 16, 1960 N/A Flyby Unsuccessful
Pioneer P-30 USA Sep. 25, 1960 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Pioneer P-31 USA Dec. 15. 1960 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Ranger 3 USA Jan. 26, 1962 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Ranger 4 USA April 26, 1962 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Ranger 5 USA Oct. 21, 1962 N/A Impact Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR Jan. 4, 1963 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR Feb. 3, 1963 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Luna 4 USSR April 2, 1963 April 6, 1963 Lander Unsuccessful; flew past Moon.
Ranger 6 USA Jan. 30, 1964 Feb. 2, 1965 Impact Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR March 21, 1964 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Unnamed Luna USSR April 20, 1964 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Ranger 7 USA July 28, 1964 July 31, 1964 Impact Successful; first U.S. close-up pictures of the Moon
Ranger 8 USA Feb. 17, 1965 Feb. 20, 1965 Impact Successful
Kosmos 60 USSR March 12, 1965 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Ranger 9 USA March 21, 1965 March 24, 1965 Impact Successful
Unnamed Luna USSR April 10, 1965 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Luna 5 USSR May 9, 1965 May 12, 1965 Lander Unsuccessful; impacted Moon
Luna 6 USSR June 8, 1965 June 11, 1965 Lander Unsuccessful; flyby
Zond 3 USSR July 18, 1965 July 20, 1965 Flyby Successful
Luna 7 USSR Oct. 4, 1965 Oct. 7, 1965 Lander Unsuccessful; impacted Moon
Luna 8 USSR Dec. 3, 1965 Dec. 6, 1965 Lander Unsuccessful; impacted Moon
Luna 9 USSR Jan. 31, 1966 Feb. 3, 1966 Lander Successful; first lunar soft landing and first picture from the lunar surface
Kosmos 111 USSR March 1, 1966 N/A Orbiter Unsuccessful
Luna 10 USSR March 31, 1966 April 3, 1966 Orbiter Successful; first lunar orbiter
Surveyor 1 USA May 30, 1966 June 2, 1966 Lander Successful; first U.S. Moon landing and first U.S. photo from the lunar surface.
Lunar Orbiter 1 USA Aug. 10, 1966 Aug. 14, 1966 Orbiter Successful
Luna 11 USSR Aug. 24, 1966 Aug. 27, 1966 Orbiter Successful
Surveyor 2 USA Sept. 20, 1966 Sept. 23, 1966 Lander Unsuccessful; impacted Moon
Luna 12 USSR Oct. 22, 1966 Oct. 25, 1966 Orbiter Successful
Lunar Orbiter 2 USA Nov. 6, 1966 Nov. 10, 1966 Orbiter Successful
Luna 13 USSR Dec. 21, 1966 Dec. 24, 1966 Lander Successful
Lunar Orbiter 3 USA Feb. 5, 1967 Feb. 8, 1967 Orbiter Partial success; camera failure
Surveyor 3 USA April 17, 1967 April 20, 1967 Lander Successful; visited on the Moon by Apollo 12 crew.
Lunar Orbiter 4 USA May 4, 1967 May 8, 1967 Orbiter Partial success; camera failure
Surveyor 4 USA July 14, 1967 July 17, 1967 Lander Unsuccessful
Lunar Orbiter 5 USA Aug. 1, 1967 Aug. 5, 1967 Orbiter Successful
Surveyor 5 USA Sept. 8, 1967 Sept. 11, 1967 Lander Successful
Surveyor 6 USA Nov. 7, 1967 Nov. 10, 1967 Lander Successful
Surveyor 7 USA Jan. 7, 1968 Jan. 10, 1968 Lander Successful
Unnamed Luna USSR Feb. 7, 1968 N/A Lander Unsuccessful
Luna 14 USSR April 7, 1968 April 10, 1968 Orbiter Successful
Zond 5 USSR Sept. 15, 1968 Sept. 18, 1968 Flyby Successful; first living creatures to fly past the Moon
Zond 6 USSR Nov. 10, 1968 Nov. 14, 1968 Flyby Partial success; animal cargo lost on landing.
Apollo 8 USA Dec. 21, 1968 Dec. 24, 1968 Orbiter Success; first humans to orbit the Moon
Unnamed Luna USSR Feb. 19, 1969 N/A Rover Unsuccessful; first attempted Moon rover
Apollo 10 USA May 18, 1969 May 21, 1969 Orbiter Successful; lander test in lunar orbit
Unnamed Luna USSR June 14, 1969 N/A Sample Return Unsuccessful
Luna 15 USSR July 13, 1960 July 18, 1969 Orbiter/Sample Return Partial success; orbiter successful, sample return crashed on the Moon
Apollo 11 USA July 16, 1969 July 20, 1969 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful; first humans to land on the Moon
Zond 7 USSR Aug. 7, 1969 Aug. 11, 1969 Flyby Successful
Kosmos 300 USSR Sept. 23, 1969 N/A Sample Return Unsuccessful
Kosmos 305 USSR Oct. 22, 1969 N/A Sample Return Unsuccessful
Apollo 12 USA Nov. 14, 1969 Nov. 17,1969 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful; rendezvous with Surveyor 3 on the surface of the moon.

1970s: Sampling the Moon

Apollo 17 Sample Collection
Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 collects lunar rake samples at the Taurus-Littrow landing site.
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
Apollo 13 USA 4/11/1970 4/15/1970 Orbiter/Sample Return Unsuccessful; crew returned safely to Earth.
Unnamed Luna USSR 2/6/1970 N/A Sample Return Unsuccessful
Luna 16 USSR 9/12/1970 9/20/1970 Sample Return Successful; first robotic sample return from beyond Earth.
Zond 8 USSR 10/20/1970 10/24/1970 Flyby Successful
Luna 17 USSR 11/10/1970 11/17/1970 Lander Successful; delivered Lunokhod 1 rover to the surface of the Moon
Lunokhod 1 USSR 11/10/1970 11/17/1970 Rover Successful; first robotic rover to explore the surface of a world beyond Earth
Apollo 14 USA 1/31/1971 2/4/1971 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful
Apollo 15 USA 7/26/1971 7/29/1971 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful
PFS-1 USA 7/26/1971 8/4/1971 Orbiter Successful; deployed in lunar orbit by Apollo 15 crew
Luna 18 USSR 9/2/1971 9/11/1971 Sample Return Unsuccessful
Luna 19 USSR 9/28/1971 10/3/1971 Orbiter Successful
Luna 20 USSR 2/14/1972 2/21/1972 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful
Apollo 16 USA 4/16/1972 4/19/1972 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful
PFS-2 USA 4/16/1972 4/24/1972 Orbiter Partial Success; orbit decayed prematurely
Apollo 17 USA 12/7/1972 12/10/1972 Orbiter/Sample Return Successful; first scientist on the Moon and final Apollo mission
Luna 21 USSR 1/8/1973 1/15/1973 Orbiter Successful; delivered Lunokhod 2 rover to the surface of the Moon
Lunokhod 2 USSR 1/8/1973 1/15/1973 Rover Successful; longest-lived rover on the Moon, drove 24 miles (39 kilometers)
Mariner 10 USA 11/3/1973 11/5/1973 Flyby Successful; studied Moon while en route to Mercury
Luna 22 USSR 5/29/1974 6/2/1974 Orbiter Successful
Luna 23 USSR 10/28/1974 11/6/1974 Sample Return Partial Success
Luna 24 USSR 8/9/1976 8/18/1976 Sample Return Successful

1980s: Quiet Moon

No lunar missions were launched in this decade.


1990s: Robots Return

Color image of the Moon with Earth in the distance.
It was a nearly cloudless day over Africa in 1994 when Clementine waved Earthward as it crested the northern lunar pole on its 102nd orbit.
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
Hiten Japan 1/24/1990 3/19/1990 Orbiter/Impact Successful; first Japanese Moon mission
Clementine USA 1/25/1994 2/19/1994 Orbiter Successful
Lunar Prospector USA 1/7/1998 1//11/1998 Orbiter/Impact Successful

2000s: International Moon

Color image of mountain on the Moon.
Tycho crater's central peak complex, shown here, is about 9.3 miles (15 km) wide, left to right (southeast to northwest in this view).
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
SMART-1 Europe 9/27/2003 11/15/2004 Orbiter/Impact Successful; first European Moon mission
SELENE (Kaguya) Japan 9/14/2007 10/3/2007 Orbiter/Impact Successful
Chang'e 1 China 10/24/2007 11/5/2007 Orbiter/impactor Successful; first Chinese Moon mission
Chandrayaan-1 India 10/22/2008 11/12/2008 Orbiter Successful
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbter (LRO) USA 6/18/2009 6/23/2009 Orbiter (Active Mission) Successful; extended mission in progress
LCROSS USA 6/18/2009 10/9/2009 Impact Successful; impact of LRO upper stages

2010s: Delving Deeper

Color-enhanced image showing gravity on globe of the Moon.
GRAIL Gravity map of the Moon.
Name Nation Launch Arrival Type Results
Chang'e 2 China 10/1/2010 10/5/2010 Orbiter Successful
ARTEMIS USA 2010 2011 Orbiters (Active Mission) Successful; twin spacecraft on an extended lunar mission after successful Earth observartions
Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) USA 9/10/2011 1/1/2012 Orbiters Successful; twin spacecraft
Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) USA 9/7/2013 10/6/2013 Orbiter Successful
Chang'e 3 China 12/6/2013 12/14/2013 Lander (Active Mission) Successful; delivered Yutu rover to lunar surface
Yutu China 12/6/2013 12/14/2013 Rover Successful; first non-Soviet rover on the Moon
Chang'e 5-T1 China 10/23/2014 10/27/2014 Flyby Successful

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