Apollo and the Moon

A Brief Timeline of Succesful Missions to the Moon

In January 1959, Lunik1 of Russia flew past the moon. The same year, 2 more Russian probes succesfully neared the moon. The first was hard (crash) landed on the Moon's surface. The second orbited the Moon and took photographs of the far side.

Between July 1964 and November 1968, 22 Russian and American probes hard landed on, soft landed on, entered orbit around,and photographed the Moon.

The first of the 9 Apollo (manned) missions reached the Moon in December 1968, the last in December 1972. Six of these were landings.

There were 9 Russian probes during the time of the Apollo missions, and another 3 between January 1973 and August 1976. At least 2 returned samples to Earth.

More recently (January 1990 to August 1999) there have been 3 Moon-orbiting probes (Japanese and American), and 3 American probes on other missions, which have photographed the moon on the way past.

See this page for details on these probes.