Brahmand NewsPrevious Article
Brahmand NewsNext Article
Headlines

61 of 109 lunar missions in last six decades were successful

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet which was launched to the Moon in February 2019 ended in a crash. A file photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Of the 109 lunar missions in the last six decades, 61 were successful and 48 failed, reveals US space agency NASA's database on Moon missions.

On Monday, the launch of India's second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2, was called off due to a technical snag less than an hour before blast-off.

"The success rate of Moon missions is nearly 60 per cent. Unlike satellite launching, lunar missions are very complex in nature. However, with the accumulation of experience over the last six decades, the success rate is improving," Madhavan Nair, former chairman of India's space agency ISRO, told PTI.

From 1958 to 2019, India as well as the US, the USSR (now Russia), Japan, the European Union and China launched different lunar missions – from orbiters, landers and flyby (orbiting the Moon, landing on the Moon and flying by the Moon).

The first mission to the Moon was planned by the US in August 17, 1958, but the launch of Pioneer 0 was unsuccessful.

Success came six missions later.

The first successful mission to the Moon was Luna 1 by the USSR on January 4, 1959. It was also the first 'Moon flyby' mission.

In a span of a little more than a year, from August 1958 to November 1959, the US and the USSR launched 14 missions. Of these, only three – Luna 1, Luna 2 and Luna 3 – were successful. All were launched by the USSR.

The Ranger 7 mission launched in July 1964 by the US was the first to take close-up pictures of the Moon.

The first lunar soft landing and first pictures from the lunar surface came from Luna 9, launched by the USSR in January 1966. Five months later, in May 1966, the US successfully launched a similar mission Surveyor-1.

The Apollo 11 mission was the landmark mission through which humans first stepped on to the lunar surface. The three-crewed mission was headed by Neil Armstrong.

From 1958 to 1979, only the US and the USSR launched Moon missions. In these 21 years, the two countries launched 90 missions.

There was a lull in the decade that followed with no lunar missions from 1980-89.

Japan, the European Union, China, India and Israel were late entrants.

Japan launched Hiten, an orbiter mission in January 1990. This was also Japan's first Moon mission. After that, in September 2007, Japan launched Selene, another orbiter mission.

There were six lunar missions from 2000-2009 – Europe (Smart-1), Japan (Selene), China (Chang'e 1), India (Chandrayaan-1) and the US (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - LCROSS).

Since 1990, the US, Japan, India, the European Union, China and Israel launched 19 lunar missions. Of these, only one failed – Israel's Beresheet. The Beresheet's lander crashed during landing in April this year.

Tags:

Moon  Mission  ISRO  Chandrayaan  US  NASA  Russia  China  EU  Israel  
Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print Article

Other Related News

China congratulates India on Chandrayaan-2; Wants to work together for outer space exploration

China has congratulated India on the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-2 and expressed its desire to work with New Delhi for outer space exploration as both countries have stepped up their space programmes including plans to build their own space stations.

Upcoming Defence Exhibitions

BRAHMOS Missile Systems

Headlines

Brahmand World Defence Update 2019

Image Gallery