Lunar and Planetary Institute






Lunar Mission Summaries

Details of robotic and human spacecraft missions that have been sent to the Moon to explore the lunar surface and determine the Moon's origin.


Lunar Exploration Timeline
(Click here for a text version of the timeline)


Lunar Exploration Timeline

1959
Luna 1 Jan 2, 1959 Flyby Instruments
Pioneer 4 Mar 3, 1959 Flyby Instruments
Luna 2 Sep 12, 1959 Impact Instruments
Luna 3 Oct 4, 1959 Probe Instruments

1961
Ranger 1 Aug 23, 1961 Attempted Test Flight
Ranger 2 Nov 18, 1961 Attempted Test Flight

1962
Ranger 3 Jan 26, 1962 Attempted Impact
Ranger 4 Apr 23, 1962 Impact
Ranger 5 Oct 18, 1962 Attempted Impact

1963
Luna 4 Apr 2, 1963 Flyby Instruments

1964
Ranger 6 Jan 30, 1964 Impact
Ranger 7 Jul 28, 1964 Impact Instruments
1965
Ranger 8 Feb 17, 1965 Impact Instruments
Ranger 9 Mar 21, 1965 Impact Instruments
Luna 5 May 9, 1965 Impact Instruments
Luna 6 Jun 8, 1965 Attempted Lander Instruments
Zond 3 Jul 18, 1965 Flyby Instruments
Luna 7 Oct 4, 1965 Impact Instruments
Luna 8 Dec 3, 1965 Impact Instruments

1966
Luna 9 Jan 31, 1966 Lander Instruments
Luna 10 Mar 31, 1966 Orbiter Instruments
Surveyor 1 May 30, 1966 Lander Instruments
Lunar Orbiter 1 Aug 10, 1966 Orbiter Instruments
Luna 11 Aug 24, 1966 Orbiter Instruments
Surveyor 2 Sep 20, 1966 Attempted Lander Instruments
Luna 12 Oct 22, 1966 Orbiter Instruments
Lunar Orbiter 2 Nov 6, 1966 Orbiter Instruments
Luna 13 Dec 21, 1966 Lander Instruments

1967
Lunar Orbiter 3 Feb 4, 1967 Orbiter Instruments
Surveyor 3 Apr 17, 1967 Lander Instruments
Lunar Orbiter 4 May 8, 1967 Orbiter Instruments
Surveyor 4 Jul 14, 1967 Attempted Lander Instruments
Lunar Orbiter 5 Aug 1, 1967 Orbiter Instruments
Surveyor 5 Sep 8, 1967 Lander Instruments
Surveyor 6 Nov 7, 1967 Lander Instruments

1968
Surveyor 7 Jan 7, 1968 Lander Instruments
Luna 14 Apr 7, 1968 Orbiter Instruments
Zond 5 Sep 15, 1968 Return Probe Instruments
Apollo 7 Oct 11, 1968
Zond 6 Nov 10, 1968 Return Probe Instruments
Apollo 8 Dec 21, 1968 Crewed Orbiter Instruments

1969
Apollo 9 March 3, 1969
Apollo 10 May 18, 1969 Orbiter Instruments
Luna 15 Jul 13, 1969 Orbiter Instruments
Apollo 11 Jul 16, 1969 Crewed Lander Instruments
Zond 7 Aug 7, 1969 Return Probe Instruments
Apollo 12 Nov 14, 1969 Crewed Lander Instruments

1970
Apollo 13 Apr 11, 1970 Crewed Lander (aborted) Instruments
Luna 16 Sep 12, 1970 Sample Return Instruments
Zond 8 Oct 20, 1970 Return Probe Instruments
Luna 17/Lunokhod 1 Nov 10, 1970 Rover Instruments

1971
Apollo 14 Jan 31, 1971 Crewed Lander Instruments
Apollo 15 Jul 26, 1971 Crewed Lander Instruments
Luna 18 Sep 2, 1971 Impact Instruments
Luna 19 Sep 28, 1971 Orbiter Instruments

1972
Luna 20 Feb 14, 1972 Sample Return Instruments
Apollo 16 Apr 16, 1972 Crewed Landing Instruments
Apollo 17 Dec 7, 1972 Crewed Landing Instruments

1973
Luna 21/Lunokhod 2 Jan 8, 1973 Rover Instruments

1974
Luna 22 Jun 2, 1974 Orbiter Instruments
Luna 23 Oct 28, 1974 Lander Instruments

1976
Luna 24 Aug 14, 1976 Sample Return Instruments

1990
Hiten Jan 24, 1990 Flyby, Orbiter, and Impact Instruments

1994
Clementine Jan 25, 1994 Orbiter Instruments

1997
AsiaSat 3/HGS-1 Dec 24, 1997 Lunar Flyby

1998
Lunar Prospector Jan 7, 1998 Orbiter and Impact Instruments

2003
SMART 1 Sep 27, 2003 Orbiter Instruments

2007
Kaguya (SELENE) Sep 14, 2007 Orbiter Instruments
Chang'e 1 Oct 24, 2007 Orbiter Instruments

2008
Chandrayaan-1 Oct 22, 2008 Orbiter Instruments
Lunar-A Cancelled Orbiter and Penetrators

2009
LRO Jun 18, 2009 Orbiter Instruments
LCROSS Jun 18, 2009 Impact Instruments

2010
Chang'e 2 October 1, 2010 Orbiter
ARTEMIS 2010 Orbiter

2011
GRAIL September 8, 2011 Orbiter

2013
Chang'e 3   Orbiter
LADEE May 2, 2013 Orbiter
     
2014    
Delta IV-Orion (EFT-1) September, 2014 Orbiter
     
2016    
Luna 25 2016 Lander

2017
Chang'e 5 2017 Sample Return
SLS-Orion (EM-1) 2017 Orbiter
Luna 26 2017 Orbiter
SELENE-2 2017 Orbiter and Lander with Rover
     
2018    
Constellation Altair Lander (cancelled) 2018 Lander
Luna 27 2018 Lander
     
2020    
Luna 28 2020 Lander
     
2021    
Luna 29 2021 Lander
SELENE-3 2021 Orbiter and Lander with Rover plus sample return ascent vehicle
SLS-Orion (EM-2) 2021 Orbiter

Surveyor Lunar Spacecraft