Lunar Exploration

Timeline created by 211621
  • Luna 1

    Luna 1
    Jan 2, 1959 - Flyby: Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to reach the Moon, and the first of a series of Soviet automatic interplanetary stations successfully launched in the direction of the Moon. Luna 1 passed within 5995 km of the Moon's surface on 4 January after 34 hours of flying. It went into orbit around the Sun, between the orbits of Earth and Mars.
  • Pioneer 4

    Pioneer 4
    Pioneer 4 - Mar 3, 1959 - Flyby: Were planned to fly by the moon and return data about the Earth and Moon's radiation environment. The launch of Pioneer 4 was successful, and Pioneer 4 was the first American spacecraft to escape Earth's gravitational pull as it passed within the moon
  • Ranger 1

    Ranger 1
    Ranger 1 - Aug 23, 1961 - Attempted Test Flight: The Ranger 1 spacecraft was designed to go into an Earth parking orbit and then into an Earth orbit to test systems and strategies for future lunar missions. Ranger 1 was partially successful,
  • Luna 4

    Luna 4
    Apr 2, 1963 - Flyby: Luna 4 was the USSR's first successful spacecraft of their "second generation" lunar program. Luna 4 missed the Moon by about 8400 km at 13:25 UT on 5 April 1963 and entered a 89 250 x 694 000 km equatorial Earth orbit.
  • Zond 3

    Zond 3
    Jul 18, 1965 - Flyby: Zond 3 was launched from a Tyazheliy Sputnik earth orbiting platform towards the moon and interplanetary space. It is believed that Zond 3 was initially designed as a companion spacecraft to Zond 2 to be launched to Mars during the 1964 launch.
  • Surveyor 1

    Surveyor 1
    May 30, 1966 - Lander: Surveyor 1 was the first spacecraft launched in the Surveyor program and the first soft landing on the Moon by the United States. All mission objectives were accomplished.The mission was a complete success
  • Lunar Orbiter 1

    Lunar Orbiter 1
    Aug 10, 1966 - Orbiter: The Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft was designed to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. They were all eventually commanded to crash on the Moon before their attitude control gas ran out so they would not present navigational or communications hazards to later Apollo flights. They sent back 99% of pictures of the moon.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    Jul 16, 1969 - Crewed Landing: Apollo 11 was the first mission in which humans walked on the moon and returned to Earth. The astronomers consisted of Commander Neil A. Armstrong and LM pilot Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.
  • Hiten

    Jan 24, 1990 - Flyby and Orbiter: Was an ISAS Japanese Space Agency. Was also designed to test and verify technologies for future lunar and planetary missions.
  • Clemintine

    Jan 25, 1994 - Orbiter: Was built to take photos of the moon