Lunar Exploration Statistics 2024 By Country, Organization and Facts

Aruna Madrekar
Written by
Aruna Madrekar

Updated · May 31, 2024

Rohan Jambhale
Edited by
Rohan Jambhale

Editor

Lunar Exploration Statistics 2024 By Country, Organization and Facts

Introduction

Lunar Exploration Statistics: Our blue planet has only one moon, while other planets have more than one. Traveling to the moon is the dream of many. Recently, India completed its Lunar Mission, Chandrayaan 3. However, very few countries have been to the Moon. In our solar system, recent Lunar Exploration Statistics showed that, concerning the parent planet, oon is the most largest and massive natural satellite. It is believed that it was formed just after the earth, around 4.51 billion years ago. Scientists have proven that the surface of the moon is covered by the moon, and it has mountains, impact craters and ejects, and ray-like streaks.

With all these interesting Moon Facts, let’s see which countries have landed on the Moon through these Lunar Exploration Statistics.

Editor’s Choice

  • According to NASA, the meteorite impacts the lunar and creates soil made of pulverized rock.
  • Until 1610, people were unaware of the existence of the Moon until Galileo Galilei discovered four other moons that were orbiting the planet Jupiter.
  • According to Lunar Statistics, the moon is 27% the size of the Earth, or one-fourth the width of Earth.
  • Tides on the earth are affected by the gravity of the moon and the earth, which collide.
  • On average, the moon is around 382,500 km (238,860 miles) away from Earth.
  • The South Pole of the Moon has completely dark areas, which is why it is called the dark side of the moon. It has less exposure to sunlight.
  • According to Hindu.com, 62 of 111 lunar missions over the seven decades were recorded as successful between 1958 and 2023.
  • Once, the moon was tucked up under an ocean of magma.
  • Lunar Exploration Statistics reported that moons in our universe have many shapes, types, and sizes. However, only a few have atmospheres under their surfaces.
  • The word Lunar comes from the Latin language, meaning the Moon.

Earth’s Companion Facts

  • According to Lunar Statistics, the moon is 27% the size of the Earth, or one-fourth the width of Earth.
  • Until 1610, people were unaware of the existence of the Moon until Galileo Galilei discovered four other moons that were orbiting the planet Jupiter.
  • The word Lunar comes from the Latin language, meaning the Moon.
  • Due to tidal locking, people on the Earth always see the same side of the Moon.
  • The South Pole of the Moon has completely dark areas, which is why it is called the dark side of the moon. It has less exposure to sunlight.
  • According to NASA, the meteorite impacts the lunar and creates soil made of pulverized rock.
  • Once, the moon was tucked up under an ocean of magma.
  • The chemical composition of earth and moon rocks is precisely indistinguishable.
  • Tides on the earth are affected by the gravity of the moon and the earth, which collide.
  • Lunar Exploration Statistics reported that moons in our universe have many shapes, types, and sizes. However, only a few have atmospheres under their surfaces.
  • According to Hindu.com, 62 of 111 lunar missions over the seven decades were recorded as successful between 1958 and 2023.
  • On average, the moon is around 382,500 km (238,860 miles) away from Earth.

Lunar Exploration Statistics by Timeline

Country Lunar Missions, Date Mission date and year Mission objective
USSR Luna 1 Jan 2, 1959 Flyby
USA Pioneer 4 March 3, 1959 Flyby
USSR Lunar  September 12, 1959 Impact
USSR Lunar 3 October 4, 1959 Probe
USA Ranger 1 August 23, 1961 Attempted Test Flight
USA Ranger 2 November 18, 1961 Attempted test flight
USA Ranger 3 January 26, 1962 Attempted Impact
USA Ranger 4 April 23, 1962 Impact
USA Ranger 5 October 18, 1962 Attempted Impact
USSR Luna 4 April 2, 1963 Flyby
USA Ranger 6 January 30, 1964 Impact
USA Ranger 7 July 28, 1964 Impact
USA Ranger 8 February 17, 1965 Impact
USA Ranger 9 March 21, 1965 Impact
USSR Luna 5 May 9, 1965 Impact
USSR Luna 6 June 8, 1965 Attempted lander
USSR Zond 3 July 18, 1965 Flyby
USSR Lunar 7 October 4, 1965 Impact
USSR Luna 8 December 3, 1965 Impact
USSR Luna 9 January 31, 1966 Lander
USSR Luna 10 March 31, 1966 Orbiter
USA Surveyor 1 May 30, 1966 Lander
USA Explorer 33 July 1, 1966 Attempted Orbiter
USA Lunar Orbiter 1  August 10, 1966 Orbiter
USSR Luna 11 August 24, 1966 Orbiter
USA Surveyor 2 September 20, 1966 Attempted Lander
USSR Luna 12 October 22, 1966 Orbiter
USA Lunar Orbiter 2 November 6, 1966 Orbiter
USSR Luna 13 December 21, 1966 Lander
USA Lunar Orbiter 3 February 4, 1967 Orbiter
USA Surveyor 3 April 17, 1967 Lander
USA Lunar Orbiter 4 May 8, 1967 Orbiter
USA Surveyor 4 July 14, 1967 Attempted Lander
USA Explorer 35 (IMP-E) July 19, 1967 Orbiter
USA Lunar Orbiter 5 August 1, 1967 Orbiter
USA Surveyor 5 September 8, 1967 Lander
USA Surveyor 6 November 7, 1967 Lander
USA Surveyor 7 January 7, 1968 Lander
USSR Luna 14 April 7, 1968 Orbiter
USSR Zond 5 September 15, 1968 Return Probe
USSR Zond 6 November 10, 1968 Return Probe
USA Apollo 8 December 21, 1968 Crewed Orbiter
USA Apollo 10 May 18, 1969 Orbiter
USSR Lunar 15 July 13, 1969 Orbiter
USA Apollo 11 July 16, 1969 Crewed Landing
USSR Zond 7 August 7, 1969 Return Probe
USA Apollo 12 November 14, 1969 Crewed Landing
USA Apollo 13 April 11, 1970 Crwed Landing (aborted)
USR Luna 16 September 12, 1970 Sample return
USSR Zond 8 October 20, 1970 Return Probe
USSR Luna 17 November 10, 1970 Rover
USA Apollo 14 January 31, 1971 Crewed Landing
USA Apollo 15 July 26, 1971 Crewed Landing
USSR Luna 18 September 2, 1971 Impact
USSR Lunar 19 September 28, 1971 Orbiter
USSR Luna 20 February 14, 1972 Sample return
USA Apollo 16 April 16, 1972 Crewed Landing
USA Apollo 17 December 7, 1972 Crewed Landing
USSR Luna 21 January 8, 1973 Rover
USA Explorer 49 (RAE-B) June 10, 1973 Orbiter
USSR Luna 22 June 2, 1974 Orbiter
USSR Luna 23 October 28, 1974 Lander
USSR Luna 24 August 14, 1976 Sample Return
Japan Hiten January 24, 1990 Flyby and orbit
USA Clementine January 25, 1994 Orbiter
USA AsiaSat 3/HGS – 1 December 24, 1997 Lunar Flyby
USA Lunar Prospector January 7, 1998 Orbiter
SMART 1 September 27, 2003 Lunar Orbiter
Japan Kaguya (SELENE) September 14, 2007 Lunar Orbiter
China Chang’e 1 October 24, 2007 Lunar Orbiter
India Chandryaan 1 October 22, 2008 Lunar Orbiter
USA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter June 17, 2009 Lunar Orbiter
USA LCROSS June 17, 2009 Lunar Orbiter and Impactor
China Chang’e 2 October 1, 2010 Lunar Orbiter
USA Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) September 10, 2011 Luar Orbiter
USA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) September 6, 2013 Lunar Orbiter
China Chang’e 3 01 December 2013 Lunar Lander and rover
China Chang’e 5 Test Vehicle October 23, 2014 Lunar Flyby and Return
China Queqio 20 May 2018 CNSA (China) Lunar Relay Satellite
China Chang’e 4 7 December 2018 CNSA (China) Lunar Farside Lander and Rover
Israel Beresheet 22 February 2019 SpaceIL and IAI (Israel) Lunar Lander
India Chandrayaan 2 April, 2019 ISRO (India), Moon orbiter, Lander and Rover
China Chang’e 5 23 November 2020 CNSA (China), Lunar sample return mission
USA CAPSTONE 28 June 2022 Lunar Navigation Test Orbiter
South Korea Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (Danuri) August 4, 2022 KARI (South Korea) Lunar Orbiter
USA LunaH-Map 16 November 2022 Lunar Orbiting CubeSat
USA Lunar Ice Cube 16 November 2022 Lunar Orbiting CubeSat
USA Lunar InfraRed Imaging (LunIR) 16 November 2022 Lunar Flyby and Technology Test CubeSat
Japan OMOTENASHI 16 November 2022, JAXA (Japan) Lunar Lander CubeSat
Japan EQUULEUS 16 November 2022 JAXA (Japan) L2 Orbit Lunar CubeSat
USA Artemis 1 16 November 2022 Lunar test Flight
Japan Hakuto- R M1 11 December 2022 Japanese Lunar Lander
USA Lunar Flashlight 11 December 2022 Lunar Orbiter CubeSat
India Chandrayaan 3 14 July 2023 ISRO (India) Lunar Orbiter, Lander, and Rover
Russia Luna 25 10 August 2023 Russian Lunar Lander
Japan SLIM 6 September 2023 JAXA (Japan) Lunar Lander
USA Peregrine Mission 1 (Astrobotic)  8 January 2024 Lunar Lander
USA Intuitive Machines 1 (Odysseus) 15 February 2024 Lunar Lander
China Queqiao 2 20 March 2024 CNSA (China) Lunar Relay Satellite
China Chang’e 6 3 May 2024 CNSA (China) Lunar Sample Return Mission
USA Griffin Mission 1 (VIPER) November 2024 Lunar South Pole Rover
USA Intuitive Machines 2 (PRIME 1) 2024 (Quarter 4) Lunar Lander
USA Lunar Trailblazer 2024 (Quarter 4) Lunar Orbiting Small Satellite
USA Blue Ghost 1 (firefly) 2024 Lunar Lander
Japan Resilience 2024 JAXA (Japan) Lunar Lander and Rover
USA Blue Ghost 2 (Firefly) 2025 Lunar Lander
USA Lunar Pathfinder 2025 Lunar Orbiter
USA Intuitive Machines 3 (PRISM) 2025 Lunar Lander and Rovers
China Chang’e 7 2026 CNSA (China) Lunar Survey Mission
USA Draper Lunar Lander 2026 Lunar Lander
China Chang’e 8 2028 CNSA (China) Lunar Technology Test

(Source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Lunar Exploration Statistics by Company / Organization

The following chart, based on Lunar Exploration Statistics, explains the number of lunar missions and the success rate of various country agencies.

Country Agency Total Successful Missions Partial successful missions Total failed missions Success rate Total missions for the country
USSR Energia 2 16 11.11% 58
Lavochkin 16 2 22 40%
USA USAF 1 1 50% 57
NASA 37 2 14 67.27%
China CNSA 8 1 88.8% 9
Japan JAXA 2 1 66.6% 8
ISAS 2 2 50%
India ISRO 2 1 83.26% 3
Various member states ESA 1 100% 1
Luxembourg LuxSpace 1 100% 1
South Korea KARI 1 100% 1
USA KARI (private company) 1 100% 1
USA Lockheed Martin (private company) 1 100% 1
USA Fluid & Reason 1 100% 1
USA Astrobotic Technology (private company) 1 0% 1
USA Intuitive Machines (private company) 1 100% 1
USA ERAU (private university) 1 0% 1
Italy ASO 1 100% 1
Israel SpaceIL 1 0% 1
Russia Roscosmos 1 0% 1
UAE UAESA 1 0% 1
Japan ISSpace (private company) 1 0% 1
China (public university) Deep Space Exploration Laboratory 1 0% 1
Pakistan IST/ SUPARCO 1 100% 1

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Lunar Exploration Statistics by Orbital Parameters

Lunar Exploration Statistics provided by NASA explain the orbital parameters of the Moon.

Orbital Parameters Moon
Recession rate from Earth (cm/yr) 3.8
Sidereal rotation period (hrs) 655.720
Obliquity to orbit (deg) 6.68
Inclination to ecliptic (deg) 5.145
Orbit eccentricity 0.0549
Inclination to Earth’s equator (deg) 18.28 – 28.58
Min. orbital velocity (km/s) 0.970
Max. orbital velocity (km/s) 1.082
Mean orbital velocity (km/s) 1.022
Apogee (106 km)* 0.4055
Perigee (106 km)* 0.3633
Synodic Period (days) 29.53
Revolution period (days) 27.3217
Semimajor axis (106 km) 0.3844
Mean values in opposition to Earth
Distance from Earth (equator, km)

378,000

apparent diameter (seconds of arc) 1896
Apparent visual magnitude -12.74

(Source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Orbit Changes Year-wise.

In addition, the following data published by NASA also supports the bulk parameters of the moon through the use of Lunar Exploration Statistics.

Ratio (Moon/Earth) Earth Moon
Topographic range 0.650 20 13
Moment of inertia (I/MR2) 1.191 0.3308 0.394
V-band magnitude V(1,0) -3.99 -0.08
J2 (x 10-6) 0.187 1082.63 202.7
Solar irradiance (W/m2) 1.000 1361.0 1361.0
Escape velocity (km/s) 0.213 11.2 2.38
Bond albedo 0.37 0.294 0.11
GM (x 106 km3/s2) 0.0123 0.39860 0.00490
Geometric albedo 0.12 0.434 0.28
Surface gravity (m/s2) 0.165 9.80 1.62
Mean density (kg/m3) 0.606 5514 3344
Surface acceleration (m/s2) 0.166 9.78 1.62
Ellipticity (Flattening) 0.36 0.00335 0.0012
Polar radius (km) 0.2731 6356.8 1736.0
Volumetric mean radius (km) 0.2727 6371.0 1737.4
Equatorial radius (km) 0.2725 6378.1 1738.1
Volume (1010 km3) 0.0203 108.321 2.1968
Mass (1024 kg) 0.0123 5.9724 0.07346

(Source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Lunar Atmosphere

Estimated Composition (night, particles per cubic cm) Helium 4 (4He) – 40,000, Hydrogen (H2) – 35,000, Argon 36 (36Ar) – 2,000, Neon 22 (22Ne) – 5,000, Argon 40 (40Ar) – 30,000, Ammonia – 1000, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – 1000, Neon 20 (20Ne) – 40,000, Methane – 1000, Trace Oxygen (O+), Magnesium (Mg+), Possible Phosphorus (P+), Sodium (Na+), Silicon (Si+)
Abundance at surface 2 x 105 particles/cm3
Surface pressure (night) 3 x 10-15 bar  (2 x 10-12 torr)
Diurnal temperature range (equator) 95 K to 390 K  (~ -290 F to +240 F)
The total mass of the atmosphere ~25,000 kg

(Source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov)

The Moon: A Rocky Companion with Ever-Changing Phases

The Moon, our Earth’s faithful companion, has silently orbited us for billions of years. Its history is deeply intertwined with our own, and it holds the key to unlocking mysteries about the formation of our solar system.

A Violent Birth

Scientists believe the Moon formed around 4.5 billion years ago in a giant collision. A Mars-sized object slammed into the early Earth, spewing out a cloud of superheated rock and vapor. Over time, this debris coalesced into the Moon. This violent birth explains why the Moon is much smaller than Earth and why both bodies share similar rock compositions.

Tidal Lock and the Birth of Phases

The Moon’s gravity pulls on Earth’s oceans, creating the tides. Interestingly, the Earth’s gravity also has a powerful effect on the Moon. Over billions of years, Earth’s gravity has slowed the Moon’s rotation, causing it to become tidally locked. This means the Moon always keeps the same face pointed toward Earth while the other side remains permanently dark.

This tidal lock causes the Moon’s phases. The Moon doesn’t generate its light; it reflects sunlight. As the Moon orbits Earth, the Sun illuminates different portions of its surface, giving the Moon the appearance of changing shapes.

Phases of the Moon: A Celestial Dance

The lunar cycle, the time it takes for the Moon to go through all its phases, is about 29.5 days. Here’s a breakdown of the main phases:

  • New Moon: The Moon sits between the Sun and Earth, and the side facing us is completely dark. We can’t see it in the night sky.
  • Waxing Crescent: The Moon appears as a thin crescent, with the illuminated portion growing larger each day.
  • First Quarter: Half of the Moon’s face appears bright, resembling a half-circle.
  • Waxing Gibbous: The illuminated portion continues to grow, becoming more than half but not quite full.
  • Full Moon: The Moon is opposite the Sun in the sky, and its entire face appears bright. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, bathing the night sky in its silvery glow.
  • Waning Gibbous: The bright area starts to shrink, becoming more than half but less than full.
  • Third Quarter: Half of the Moon is illuminated again, but this time, it’s the left side (as seen from the Northern Hemisphere).
  • Waning Crescent: The illuminated area becomes a thin crescent again, this time shrinking each day.

Observing the Moon’s phases has been a part of human culture for millennia. It helped our ancestors track time, predict tides, and even plan agricultural activities.

Moon: A Candidate for Colonization

With the rise of space exploration, the Moon has emerged as a prime candidate for future human settlements. Here’s why:

  • Proximity: The Moon is our closest celestial neighbor, and with current technology, it takes only a few days to reach. This makes travel and transportation of resources more feasible compared to distant planets.
  • Water Ice: Recent missions have confirmed the presence of water ice in permanently shadowed craters near the Moon’s poles. This ice could be a valuable resource for drinking water, producing oxygen, and potentially even fuel.
  • Building Materials: The Moon’s surface is rich in minerals like silicon, iron, and aluminum, which are essential for construction. These materials could be used to build habitats and infrastructure.
  • Reduced Gravity: According to Lunar Exploration Statistics, the Moon’s gravity is about 1/6th of Earth’s. While this might pose some health challenges in the long run, it also offers advantages. Launching spacecraft from the Moon’s surface requires less energy, which could be used for new methods of transportation and construction.
  • Astronomical Observatory: The Moon’s lack of atmosphere makes it an ideal location for astronomical telescopes. Observatories on the Moon would be free from light pollution and atmospheric distortion, allowing for clearer observations of the universe.

However, there are also significant challenges to overcome before lunar colonization becomes a reality. The Moon’s harsh environment, with its lack of breathable air, extreme temperatures, and constant radiation bombardment, would require advanced life-support systems and radiation shielding for humans. Additionally, establishing a self-sustaining colony would necessitate developing ways to grow food, manage waste, and generate power on the Moon.

Similarities to Earth, But Not a Second Earth

While the Moon shares some similarities with Earth, it’s important to remember it’s a very different world. It lacks a magnetic field, which means it’s constantly bombarded by harmful solar radiation. It also has a very thin atmosphere, incapable of supporting life as we know it.

The elements present on the Moon’s crust are similar to those on Earth’s crust, with oxygen, silicon, aluminum, and iron being the most abundant. However, according to Lunar Exploration Statistics, these elements are found in different readily available forms than on Earth. On Earth, these elements are combined into water, rocks, and minerals. Still, on the Moon, they are mostly found in the form of oxides (compounds with oxygen) within the lunar regolith, the dusty, loose layer covering the Moon’s surface.

These shared elements offer potential for future lunar inhabitants. By using special techniques, humans could potentially extract oxygen from lunar rocks for breathing and life support. Silicon could be used for solar panels and electronics manufacturing, while aluminum and iron could be used for construction purposes.

Challenges and the Future of Lunar Exploration

Despite the potential benefits, colonizing the Moon presents numerous challenges. The lack of a breathable atmosphere necessitates the development of complex life-support systems for habitats. The extreme temperature fluctuations on the lunar surface, ranging from scorching highs in the sun to frigid lows in the shade, require specially designed shelters. Additionally, the constant radiation exposure poses a significant health risk for humans.

However, these challenges are not insurmountable. Technological advancements in areas like in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), where resources are extracted and utilized directly on the Moon, offer promising solutions. 3D printing technologies using lunar materials could revolutionize lunar base construction. Advancements in radiation shielding and artificial biospheres could mitigate the harsh lunar environment.

The Moon serves as a stepping stone for further space exploration. Establishing a lunar base could provide valuable experience for future missions to Mars and beyond. It could also become a hub for scientific research, resource extraction, and potentially even space tourism.

Conclusion

The Moon, with its ever-changing phases and rich history, continues to hold our fascination, as proven by these Lunar Exploration Statistics. As we delve deeper into understanding its formation and composition, the possibilities for future exploration and even colonization become more tangible. While challenges remain, the potential rewards – scientific discoveries, resource utilization, and a permanent human presence beyond Earth – make the Moon a celestial dance partner worth pursuing.

FAQ.

What is the moon made of?

The moon is made of the following elements: argon helium, hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, aluminum, magnesium, sodium, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. The percentage of prevalence of these elements is given in these Lunar Exploration Statistics.

Why is it called the Dark side of the moon?

The south pole of the moon lacks sun rays, so it is called the dark side of the moon. Also, it is the side that we can never see from the earth.

Is the Moon moving away from Earth?

Yes. The moon slowly moves away from the earth, an inch away every year.

Aruna Madrekar
Aruna Madrekar

Aruna is an editor at Sci-Tech Today with a strong knowledge of SEO. She is skilled at writing and editing articles that are helpful and interesting to readers. Aruna also creates charts and graphs to embed in the articles, making them easier to understand. Her work helps Sci-Tech Today reach a large audience and share valuable information.

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