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Moon landing



Moon Landing


Unmanned landings

The Soviet Union performed the first hard (unpowered) Moon landing in 1959 with the Luna 2 spacecraft, a feat the U.S. duplicated in 1962 with Ranger 4. Since then, twelve Soviet and U.S. spacecraft have used braking rockets to make soft landings and perform scientific operations on the lunar surface, between 1966 and 1976. The USSR accomplished the first soft landings and took the first pictures from the lunar surface on the Luna 9 and Luna 13 missions. The U.S. followed with five unmanned Surveyor soft landings.

The Soviet Union achieved the first unmanned lunar soil sample return with the Luna 16 probe on September 24, 1970. This was followed by Luna 20 and Luna 24 in 1972 and 1976. The Luna 17 and Luna 21 were successful unmanned rover missions.

Two unmanned landing missions were unsuccessful: Luna 23 landed successfully, but its scientific equipment then failed. The U.S. Surveyor 4, lost all radio contact only moments before its landing.

More recently, other nations have crashed spacecraft on the surface of the Moon at speeds of around 5,000 miles per hour (8,000 km/h), often at precise, planned locations. These have generally been end-of-life lunar orbiters that, because of system degradations, could no longer overcome perturbations from lunar mass concentrations (“masscons”) to maintain their orbit. Japan’s lunar orbiter Hiten impacted the Moon’s surface on 10 April 1993. The European Space Agency performed a controlled crash impact with their orbiter SMART-1 on 3 September 2006.

India’s Space Agency ISRO performed a controlled crash impact with its Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on 14 November 2008. The MIP was notable for being an ejected probe from the Indian Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter and for performing remote sensing experiments during its descent to the lunar surface. Radio contact with the Chandrayaan-1 has been lost and it will also crash on the lunar surface in late 2011 or early 2012. Most recently, the Chinese lunar orbiter Chang’e 1 executed a controlled crash onto the surface of the Moon on 1 March 2009.

Manned landings

On July 20, 1969, television sets around the world broadcast the same grainy image: Neil Armstrong climbing down the ladder of the Eagle Lunar Landing Module and touching his boot to the surface of the moon. His words, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” became forever ingrained in the human consciousness. The famous landing was a triumphant end to the space race.

­But that historic moment on the surface of the moon was the result of many years’ e­fforts by both the Soviet and American space programs. The astronauts who first touched the moon’s surface had to travel some 238,000 miles (383,000 kilometers) to reach their destination, survive the moon’s harsh environment and make it back to Earth in one piece. It was no easy feat.

As of today, only 12 people — all of them men and all of them part of the American space program — have walked on the moon. The exclusivity of the elite group might soon change, however. NASA, other nations’ space programs and several private space entrepreneurs are planning m­ore missions that could send humans back to the moon within a few years.

The Apollo 11 Mission

July 16, 1969 at 9:32 a.m. EDT — A Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 spacecraft lifted off from John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It carried the Command Service Module housing the astronauts and a Lunar Module that Armstrong and Aldrin would use to land on the moon. After orbiting the Earth one-and-a-half times, the Saturn V’s third stage re-fired and sent Apollo 11 rocketing toward the moon. Soon after, the Command Service Module, Columbia, separated from the Saturn, flipped around and connected nose-to-nose with the Lunar Module, Eagle. The joined spacecraft continued on its path.

July 19 — Apollo 11 entered lunar orbit. After 24 hours in orbit and a check of the Lunar Module’s switches and communication systems, Armstrong and Aldrin separated Eagle from Columbia and prepared to make their descent to the moon’s surface. Collins remained in Columbia to serve as the communication link between the Lunar Module and mission control back on Earth.

July 20 — 102 hours after launch, at 4:17 p.m. EDT, Armstrong and Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility, a flat lava plain on the moon’s surface. Armstrong sent this famous message to mission control: “Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Just moments after landing, the two astronauts began preparing to abort their mission immediately and return to the Command Service Module, just in case an emergency occurred. Then they powered down.

Six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong stepped out of the spacecraft and took his first steps on the moon.

Once Aldrin joined Armstrong on the moon’s surface, the pair of astronauts began collecting lunar surface material. As they worked, they noted the differences in the moon’s gravity compared to Earth. Because the moon has one-sixth of Earth’s gravity, the astronauts had to move by slowly loping or hopping with both feet like a kangaroo.

While on the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin created a now-famous image as they erected the American flag. This wasn’t as easy as it looked. The pole went in the first 5 to 6 inches (12.7 to 15.2 centimeters) of lunar soil easily but then met with resistance. The astronauts had to lean the flag back slightly to get it to stay in the ground.

While on the moon, the two astronauts collected nearly 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of lunar material, took photos of the area near the landing site, set up equipment and pulled two core-tube samples from the moon’s surface. They left behind a disc with 73 messages from countries around the world, a patch from Apollo 1, medals from Russian cosmonauts and a symbol of the U.S. eagle carrying an olive branch.

July 21— 21 hours after their arrival, at 1:54 p.m. EDT, Armstrong and Aldrin lifted off from the moon, leaving the lower stage behind. Inside the Lunar Module, they traveled back into the moon’s orbit, where they docked with the Command Service Module. The Eagle was set free.

July 24 — Apollo 11 entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 36,194 feet (11,032 meters) per second. It landed in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m.

Profiles of the Lunar Landing Missions

Lunar spacecraft were made up of two parts. The Command and Service Module carried the crew, operations systems, oxygen, water, fuel and propulsion system. The Lunar Module carried the astronauts to the moon.

These modules were attached to a Saturn V rocket. Powered by liquid hydrogen and as tall as a 36-story building, the Saturn V was made up of three stages. The first stage boosted the rocket through the first 38 miles (61 kilometers) of ascent. The second stage sped the rocket through the upper atmosphere and into the Earth’s orbit. The third stage propelled the craft to the moon.

Once under way, the crew separated the Command and Service Module from the third stage and fired its engine. They released the third stage and sped toward the moon. They then turned the module around and docked it nose-to-nose with the Lunar Module.

Once in lunar orbit, the Lunar Module separated from the Command and Service Module and moved in for a moon landing with two astronauts inside. The remaining astronaut stayed behind in the Command and Service Module, orbiting the moon.

The astronauts in the Lunar Module put the engine into full throttle to begin their descent to the moon. More than a dozen small thrust motors helped control the direction and speed of the descent to land the module gently. Because the moon has no atmosphere, the crew members couldn’t calculate their altitude and airspeed. The Lunar Module sent out microwave beams to the moon’s surface to provide information on the spacecraft’s position.

At just a few thousand feet above the moon’s surface, a computer onboard the spacecraft initiated the approach phase. The computer needed to adjust both horizontal and vertical speeds to almost zero, while the crew had to adjust for craters and other formations on the moon’s surface to avoid crashing.

The Lunar Module commander had the choice of whether to land automatically using the craft’s computers, or manually, depending on how clear the landing site was. The pilot had learned how to steer the craft into a landing during simulations on Earth. When the Lunar Module landed, the commander hit the engine-stop button. The craft went into zero-gravity for a second and then the rocket engines on its bottom platform lowered it to the moon’s surface.

When the mission was completed, the Lunar Module fired its ascent engine to escape the moon’s gravitational pull and lifted off. Because the moon’s gravity is lower than that of Earth, the spacecraft had to travel 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometers) per second to escape the moon’s atmosphere, compared to the 7 miles per second, or almost 25,000 miles per hour, (11 or 40,233 kilometers, respectively) it had to travel to escape the Earth’s atmosphere on the way up.

The Lunar Module docked with the Command and Service module. The two astronauts who had made the landing moved from the Lunar Module to the Command and Service Module with their equipment, and any samples they collected from the moon. They then closed the hatch and released the Lunar Module, sending it crashing back to the moon.

The next challenge was to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere without burning up like a meteor. To avoid this, the module was coated in an ablative covering that burned away as it entered Earth’s atmosphere and protected the spacecraft underneath from the intense heat.

Apollo 12

  • Launch date: Nov. 14, 1969
  • Crew: Charles Conrad Jr. (Commander), Richard F. Gordon (Command Module Pilot), Alan L. Bean (Lunar Module Pilot)
  • Landing site: Sea of Storms
  • Mission: recovered pieces from the Surveyor 3 to help scientists study the effects of time on equipment in the moon’s environment and proved precise lunar landings were possible.

Apollo 13

  • Launch date: April 11, 1970
  • Crew: James A. Lovell, Jr. (Commander), John L. Swigert Jr. (Command Module Pilot), Fred W. Haise Jr. (Lunar Module Pilot)
  • Mission: The crew aborted after an oxygen tank in the Service Module exploded and ruptured mid-flight. The crew moved into the Lunar Module and safely navigated back to Earth.

Apollo 14

  • Launch date: Jan. 31, 1971
  • Crew: Alan B. Shepard Jr. (Commander), Stuart A. Roosa (Command Module Pilot), Edgar D. Mitchell (Lunar Module Pilot)
  • Landing site: Fra Mauro region
  • Mission: Shepard and Mitchell climbed the side of Cone Crater to see how easily they could move in their bulky space suits. Shepard hit two golf balls.

Apollo 15

  • Launch date: July 26, 1971
  • Crew: David R. Scott (Commander), Alfred J. Worden (Command Module Pilot), James B. Irwin (Lunar Module Pilot)
  • Landing site: Hadley Rille/Apennines region
  • Mission: Astronauts used the Lunar Roving Vehicle to explore the surface of the moon. Scott demonstrated that a hammer and feather fell at the same rate. The crew left behind a plaque commemorating the 14 American and Soviet astronauts who had died since the space program’s start.

Apollo 16

  • Launch date: April 16, 1972
  • Crew: John W. Young (Commander), Thomas K. Mattingly II (Command Module Pilot), Charles M. Duke Jr. (Lunar Module Pilot)
  • Landing site: Descartes region
  • Mission: Covered nearly 17 miles in the Lunar Roving Vehicle. The crew collected rock and soil samples and used an ultraviolet camera and spectrograph to capture the first astronomical measurements from the moon’s surface.

Apollo 17

  • Launch date: Dec. 7, 1972
  • Crew: Eugene A. Cernan (Commander), Ronald E. Evans (Command Module Pilot), Harrison H. Schmitt (Lunar Module Pilot and scientist)
  • Landing site: Taurus-Littrow region
  • Mission: Covered more than 60 miles (97 kilometers) in the Lunar Roving Vehicle and studied volcanic vents to learn about the moon’s origins. The crew left a plaque reading, “Here man completed his first exploration of the moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which he came be reflected in the lives of all mankind.”

Before taking his final step off of the moon, Gene Cernan uttered the last words to be spoken on its surface: “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

After six moon landings, American scientists had a greater understanding of our nearest celestial neighbor. They determined the age of the moon — about 4.5 billion years — and came up with a theory for how it formed.

The Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle

­It’s the early 1970s and an Apollo astronaut is hanging out on the moon with some colleagues. Clad in the requisite bulky space suit, he needs to explore a crater several miles away, so he heads for the rover. He steps up 14 inches (35 centimeters) into the lawn-chair type seat in the center compartment of the aluminum chassis. The rover is about 10 feet long (3 meters), 6 feet wide (nearly 2 meters) and almost 4 feet (1 meter) high. It’s roughly the size of a modern Volkswagen Beetle.

His partner joins him in the other seat as the first astronaut surveys the LRV. The communications equipment (high-gain antenna for pictures and data, low-gain antenna for voice and TV camera), power (two 36-volt batteries) and navigation equipment are located in the front compartment. In the center compartment are the two seats, the display unit and the hand controller for driving the LRV. The storage compartment behind them holds scientific and rock sampling gear (tools, bags). Below them the rover’s four wheels are each made of two aluminu frames (an inner and outer frame), while the tires themselves are made of galvanized piano wire mesh with titanium chevron treads.

The designated driver looks down at the display console in the center of the LRV crew compartment to get his bearings. The navigation display sits on top with a computer display, a sun compass, speed display (0-12 mph, 0-20 kph), reset buttons and a pitch-angle meter that tracks the slope that the rover’s on. On the bottom are the power switches that distribute power from the two batteries, the battery power monitors and the switches that control the electric steering motors and drive motors.

Before the astronaut can start driving, he has to complete the startup checklist, the first step of which is sighting on the sun with the sun compass. Once he gives that reading to the people at mission control, they send back data to program the navigation computer. This reading gives the LRV navigation computer a reference point near the lunar module, the Apollo landing craft that serves as their home base while on the moon. While in operation, the computer keeps track of the rover’s bearing with respect to the lunar module by using a gyroscope and by measuring distance (range) through the number of wheel revolutions. A compass on the display shows lunar north.

Driving on the Moon with the Apollo LRV

­The Apollo LRV didn’t come with a steering wheel per se. It did, however, have a hand controller located just behind the display console on an armrest, which coordinated the steering, drive motors and brakes. The controller was located in the center of the crew compartment so that either astronaut could drive, although the commander usually did the honors. It also came with a T-handle for easy operation with the suit’s bulky gloves.

Each wheel of the LRV could operate independently by an electric motor and steer independently of the other wheels so that the LRV could turn even if one steering linkage failed. Similarly, each wheel also had independent brakes. For NASA, redundancy has always been a priority. In addition, this setup allowed a tight turning radius of 10 feet (3 meters).

The T-handle could pivot left, right, front or back and move forward or backward. It also came with a button that could lock the controller for use in a forward direction, as well as a ring to release the parking brake. The movements of the hand controller guided the LRV like this:

  • Pivot forward = accelerate forward
  • Pivot rearward = accelerate backward
  • Pivot left = turn left
  • Pivot right = turn right
  • Slide the handle backward = apply the brake and disengage the throttle
  • Sliding the controller all the way back = engage the parking brake

Let’s return to our two astronauts journeying outward to explore the crater. The LRV’s suspension minimizes the bumps of the uneven terrain, but they’re strapped in with ­toeholds, handholds and seat belts anyway. Although the LRV is desi­gned go up a slope as steep as 25 degrees or to travel as far as 40 miles (67 kilometers), they won’t travel more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the lunar module. If the rover failed, they could still walk back to the module before their life support systems ran out.

And unanticipated problems, mechanical and otherwise, did occur. For example, on the Apollo 17 mission, Commander Gene Cernan broke off a piece of the rover’s fender when a hammer in his space suit ­pocket caught it as he passed by. The fender blocked the moon dust kicked up by the rover’s mesh wheels. If the astronauts hadn’t repaired the fender, the wheels would have covered the astronauts and equipment in moon dust — a hazard to both the men and the equipment. They fashioned a new fender from a laminated map and duct tape, which allowed them to continue using the vehicle. Pretty ingenious.

U.S. mission Mass (kg) Launch vehicle Launched Mission goal Mission result
Pioneer 0 38 Thor-Able 17 August 1958 Lunar orbit Failure – first stage explosion; destroyed
Pioneer 1 34 Thor-Able 11 October 1958 Lunar orbit Failure – software error; reentry
Pioneer 2 39 Thor-Able 8 November 1958 Lunar orbit Failure – third stage misfire; reentry
Pioneer 3 6 Juno 6 December 1958 Lunar flyby Failure – first stage misfire, reentry
Pioneer 4 6 Juno 3 March 1959 Lunar flyby Partial success – first US craft to reach escape velocity, lunar flyby too far to shoot photos due to targeting error; solar orbit
Pioneer P-1 168 Atlas-Able 24 September 1959 Lunar orbit Failure – pad explosion; destroyed
Pioneer P-3 168 Atlas-Able 29 November 1959 Lunar orbit Failure – payload shroud; destroyed
Pioneer P-30 175 Atlas-Able 25 September 1960 Lunar orbit Failure – second stage anomaly; reentry
Pioneer P-31 175 Atlas-Able 15 December 1960 Lunar orbit Failure – first stage explosion; destroyed
Ranger 1 306 Atlas – Agena 23 August 1961 Prototype test Failure – upper stage anomaly; reentry
Ranger 2 304 Atlas – Agena 18 November 1961 Prototype test Failure – upper stage anomaly; reentry
Ranger 3 330 Atlas – Agena 26 January 1962 Moon Landing Failure – booster guidance; solar orbit
Ranger 4 331 Atlas – Agena 23 April 1962 Moon Landing Partial success – first U.S. spacecraft to reach another celestial body; crash impact – no photos returned
Ranger 5 342 Atlas – Agena 18 October 1962 Moon Landing Failure – spacecraft power; solar orbit
Ranger 6 367 Atlas – Agena 30 January 1964 Lunar impact Failure – spacecraft camera; crash impact
Ranger 7 367 Atlas – Agena 28 July 1964 Lunar impact Success – returned 4308 photos, crash impact
Ranger 8 367 Atlas – Agena 17 February 1965 Lunar impact Success – returned 7137 photos, crash impact
Ranger 9 367 Atlas – Agena 21 March 1965 Lunar impact Success – returned 5814 photos, crash impact
U.S. mission Mass (kg) Booster Launched Mission goal Mission result Landing zone Lat/Lon
Surveyor 1 292 Atlas – Centaur 30 May 1966 Moon landing Success – 11,000 pictures returned, first U.S. Moon landing Oceanus Procellarum 002.45S 043.22W
Surveyor 2 292 Atlas – Centaur 20 September 1966 Moon landing Failure – midcourse engine malfunction, placing vehicle in unrecoverable tumble; crashed southeast of Copernicus Crater Sinus Medii 004.00S 011.00W
Surveyor 3 302 Atlas – Centaur 20 April 1967 Moon landing Success – 6,000 pictures returned; trench dug to 17.5 cm depth after 18 hr of robot arm use Oceanus Procellarum 002.94S 336.66E
Surveyor 4 282 Atlas – Centaur 14 July 1967 Moon landing Failure – radio contact lost 2.5 minutes before touchdown; perfect automated Moon landing possible but outcome unknown Sinus Medii unknown
Surveyor 5 303 Atlas – Centaur 8 September 1967 Moon landing Success – 19,000 photos returned, first use of alpha scatter soil composition monitor Mare Tranquillitatis 001.41N 023.18E
Surveyor 6 300 Atlas – Centaur 7 November 1967 Moon landing Success – 30,000 photos returned, robot arm & alpha scatter science, engine restart, second landing 2.5 m away from first Sinus Medii 000.46N 358.63E
Surveyor 7 306 Atlas – Centaur 7 January 1968 Moon landing Success – 21,000 photos returned; robot arm & alpha scatter science; laser beams from Earth detected Tycho Crater 041.01S 348.59E
U.S. mission Mass (kg) Booster Launched Mission goal Mission result
Lunar Orbiter 1 386 Atlas – Agena 10 August 1966 Lunar orbiter Success – 1,160 km X 189 km x 12 deg orbit, 208 m period, 80 day photography mission
Lunar Orbiter 2 386 Atlas – Agena 6 November 1966 Lunar orbiter Success – 1,860 km X 52 km x 12 deg orbit, 208 m period, 339 day photography mission
Lunar Orbiter 3 386 Atlas – Agena 5 February 1967 Lunar orbiter Success – 1,860 km X 52 km x 21 deg orbit, 208 m period, 246 day photography mission
Lunar Orbiter 4 386 Atlas – Agena 4 May 1967 Lunar orbiter Success – 6,111 km X 2,706 km x 86 deg orbit, 721 m period, 180 day photography mission
Lunar Orbiter 5 386 Atlas – Agena 1 August 1967 Lunar orbiter Success – 6,023 km X 195 km x 85 deg orbit, 510 m period, 183 day photography mission
Mission name Lunar lander Lunar landing date Lunar blastoff date Lunar landing site Duration on lunar surface Crew Number of EVAs Total EVA Time (HH:MM)
Apollo 11 Eagle 20 July 1969 21 July 1969 Sea of Tranquility 21:31 Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin 1 2:31
Apollo 12 Intrepid 19 November 1969 21 November 1969 Ocean of Storms 1-day, 7:31 Charles “Pete” Conrad, Alan Bean 2 7:45
Apollo 14 Antares 5 February 1971 6 February 1971 Fra Mauro 1-day, 9:30 Alan B. Shepard, Edgar Mitchell 2 9:21
Apollo 15 Falcon 30 July 1971 3 August 1971 Hadley Rille 2 days, 18:55 David Scott, James Irwin 3 18:33
Apollo 16 Orion 21 April 1972 24 April 1972 Descartes Highlands 2 days, 23:02 John Young, Charles Duke 3 20:14
Apollo 17 Challenger 11 December 1972 14 December 1972 Taurus-Littrow 3 days, 2:59 Eugene Cernan, Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt 3 22:04
Launch date
Spacecraft             development             name* Official             name* Mission             goal Launcher/serial             number
Sept.             23, 1958
Ye-1             No. 1
The             booster rocket failed at T+93 seconds
Oct.             12, 1958
Ye-1             No. 2
Booster             exploded at T+104 seconds
Dec.             4, 1958
Ye-1             No. 3
Rocket booster failed at T+245.4 seconds
Jan.             2, 1959
Ye-1             No. 4
World’s             first spacecraft to escape Earth gravity. Missed the Moon
June 18, 1959
Ye-1A             No. 5
Failed             at T+153 sec. due to flight control problem. (
Sept.             12, 1959
Ye-1A             No. 7
World’s             first lunar impact
Oct.             4, 1959
First             photo of the Moon’s far side
April             15, 1960
Ye-3             No. 1
3rd             stage failure. Reached 200,000 km distance
April             16, 1960
Ye-3             No. 2
Failed             at T+0.4 seconds and destroyed
Jan.             4, 1963
Ye-6             No. 2
Lunar             landing
Stranded             in the low Earth orbit
Feb. 3, 1963
Ye-6             No. 3
Lunar             landing
Failed             to reach orbit at T+105.5 seconds
Apr.             2, 1963
Ye-6             No. 4
Lunar             landing
Missed             the Moon by 8,500 km
March             21, 1964
Ye-6             No. 6
Lunar             landing
Failed             to reach orbit
April             20, 1964
Ye-6             No. 5
Lunar             landing
Failed             to reach orbit
March             12, 1965
Ye-6             No. 9
Lunar             landing
Failed             to leave low Earth orbit
April             10, 1965
Ye-6             No. 8
Lunar             landing
Failed             to reach Earth orbit
May             9, 1965
Ye-6             No. 10
Lunar             landing
Crashed             into the Moon
June             8, 1965
Ye-6             No. 7
Lunar             landing
Missed             the Moon by 160,000 km
July 18, 1965
3MV-4             No. 3
Lunar flyby/Mars             orbit vicinity
Photographed             the Moon during a flyby
Oct.             4, 1965
Ye-6             No. 11
Lunar             landing
Crashed             into the Moon
Dec.             3, 1965
Ye-6             No. 12
Lunar             landing
Crashed             during landing attempt
Jan.             31, 1966
Ye-6             No. 13/202
Lunar             landing
World’s             first soft Moon landing
March             1, 1966
Ye-6S             No. 204
Lunar             orbiter
Failed             to leave Earth orbit
March             31, 1966
Ye-6S             No. 206
Lunar             orbiter
Entered             Moon orbit, active for 56 days
Aug.             24, 1966
Ye-6LF             No. 101
Lunar             orbiter
Active             in the Moon orbit for 38 days
Oct.             22, 1966
Ye-6LF             No. 102
Lunar             orbiter
Active             in the Moon orbit for 85 days
Dec.             21, 1966
Ye-6M             No. 205
Lunar             landing
Soft-landed             and studied the Moon
March             10, 1967
7K-L1P             No. 2P
L1             test
UR-500/             N10722701
Entered             Earth escape orbit
April             8, 1967
7K-L1P             No. 3P
L1             test
UR-500/             N10722801
Failed             to leave Earth orbit
May             17, 1967
Ye-6LS             No. 111
Lunar             orbiter
Manned             moon program support
Sept. 28, 1967
7K-L1             / 4L
Failed             after T+56 seconds.
Nov.             22, 1967
7K-L1/             5L
Failed             to reach orbit
Feb.             7, 1968
Ye-6LS             No. 112
Lunar             orbiter
Failed             to reach orbit
March             2, 1968
7K-L1             No. 6
Entered             heliocentric orbit
April             7, 1968
Ye-6LS             No. 113
8K78M             Ya716-58
Orbited             the Moon
April 23, 1968
7K-L1             No. 7
Failed             to reach orbit
Sept.             15, 1968
7K-L1             No. 9
Flew             around the Moon
Nov.             10, 1968
7K-L1             No. 12
Flew             around the Moon
Jan.             20, 1969
7K-L1/             13L
Launch             failure
Feb.             19, 1969
Ye-8             No. 201
Lunar             rover
8K82K             (UR-500)
Failed             to reach orbit
Feb.             21, 1969
N-1 / L3
Exploded             during launch
June 14, 1969
Ye-8-5             No. 402
Sample return
Failed             to reach orbit
July             3, 1969
N-1             / 5L
Exploded             at launch
July             13, 1969
Ye-8-5             No. 401
Sample return
Crashed             on lunar surface
Aug.             8, 1969
7K-L1             No. 11
Flew             around the Moon
Sept.             23, 1969
Ye-8-5             No. 403
Sample return
Failed             to leave Earth orbit
Oct.             22, 1969
Ye-8-5             No. 404
Sample return
Failed             to leave Earth orbit
Feb.             6, 1970
Ye-8-5             No. 405
Sample return
Failed             to reach orbit
Sept.             12, 1970
Ye-8-5             No. 406
Sample return
First             automatic lunar sample return
Oct.             20, 1970
7K-L1             No. 14
Flew             around the Moon
Nov.             10, 1970
Ye-8             No. 203
Lunar             rover
First             rover on the Moon
June 27, 1971
N-1             / 6L
Failed             to reach orbit
Sept.             2, 1971
Ye-8-5             No. 407
Sample return
Crashed             on lunar surface
Sept.             28, 1971
Ye-8LS             No. 408
Lunar             orbiter
Orbited             the Moon
Feb.             14, 1972
Ye-8-5             No. 408
Sample return
Returned             samples from the Moon
Nov.             23, 1972
N-1/             7L
Failed             to reach orbit
Jan.             8, 1973
Ye-8             No. 204
Lunar             rover
Landed             and traveled on the Moon
May             29, 1974
Ye-8LS             No. 220
Lunar             orbiter
Orbited             the Moon
Oct.             28, 1974
Ye-8-5M             No. 410
Sample             return
Damaged             during Moon landing
Oct.             16, 1975
Ye-8-5M             No. 412
Sample return
8K82K             (UR-500)
Failed             to reach orbit
Aug.             9, 1976
Ye-8-5M             No. 413
Moon landing

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