Link copied

The new moon race

By and Published August 25, 2023

More than 50 years after the first human landing, there is a new race for the moon. On August 23, 2023, India became the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon's south pole with its Chandrayaan-3 mission, achieving a historic feat that eluded Russia's Luna-25 probe, which crashed into the moon days earlier.

Space power China has made major progress with its moon ambitions since launching its first orbiter, the Chang’e 1, in 2007. The latest in the series, Chang’e 5, was launched in November 2020. China plans to land astronauts - known as taikonauts - on the moon by the end of the decade, while Nasa aims to send Americans back to the moon by 2025. Here’s a look at moon missions since the US-Soviet space race of the Cold War.

Missions to the moon by country

* Includes Soviet Union
Note: Includes attempted missions, successful landings, orbits and flybys

Successful moon landings so far

Of 22 successful landings, 18 occurred between 1966 and 1976 (11 from the US and seven from the Soviet Union). China reached the lunar surface for the first time in December 2013 with its Chang’e 3 mission.

Lunar exploration timeline

Associate Creative Director Marcelo Duhalde
Edited by Andrew London

Source: NASA

Hi, Internet Explorer user!

This site has some features that may not be compatlibe with your browser. Should you wish to view content, switch browsers to either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to get an awesome experience