MISSION TO THE MOON

Int.


Astronomical specifications:

Discovery Prehistory
Orbital characteristics:
Distance from Earth 384,399 km
Perihelion 0.363 x (106 km)
Aphelion 0.406 x (106 km)
Orbital Eccentricity 0.055
Orbital periode round Earth 27.321 days
Orbital speed 1.02 km/s
Inclination to Earth equator 18.29 - 28.58 deg
Physical characteristics:
Diameter 3475 km
Surface area 37,930,000 km²
Volume 2.2 x 1010 km³
Mass 7.347 1022 kg
Density 3346 kg/cm³
Equatorial gravity 1.62 m/s²
Escape velocity 2.38 km/s
Rotation period 27.321 days
Axial tilt 6.68 deg
Surface temperature -20 C (220 K)
Surface Pressure 0 bars
Atmospheric composition H He Na+ K+ Ar

Early history:

Space race:


This picture of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon -- the first of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft -- was recorded Sept. 18, 1977, by NASA's Voyager 2 when it was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million klm) from Earth.


Lunar missions:

Name Launch
Date
Launch rocket Weight (kg) Mission
Pioneer 0 (USA) 17-Aug-58 Thor-Able 38 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Booster exploded at 16 km.
Luna 58A Ye-1(USSR) 23-Sep-58 Vostok-L (8K72L) 361 kg Lunar impact attempt. Structural failure at 92 sec into launch.
Pioneer 1 (USA) 11-Oct-58 Thor-Able 38 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Reached 113.830 km, fell back over South Pacific.
Luna 58B Ye-1 (USSR) 12-Oct-58 Vostok-L 361 kg Lunar impact attempt. Launcher exploded at 100 sec into launch.
Pioneer 2 (USA) 8-Nov-58 Thor-Able 38 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Reached 1.550 km, fell back over central Africa.
Luna 58C Ye-1(USSR) 04-Dec-58 Vostok-L 361 kg Lunar impact attempt. Stage 1 failure at 245 sec into launch.
Pioneer 3 (USA) 06-Dec-58 Juno II 6 kg Lunar fly-by attempt. Reached 102.320 km, fell back over central Africa.
Luna 1 (USSR) 02-Jan-59 Vostok-L 361 kg Lunar impact attempt. Solar orbit after 5.000 km fly-by.
Pioneer 4 (USA) 3-Mar-59 Juno II 6 kg Lunar fly-by at 59983 km, into solar orbit.
Luna 59A (USSR) 18-Jul-59 Vostok-L 387 kg Lunar impact attempt.Failed to reach Earth orbit.
Luna 2 (USSR) 12-Sep-59 Vostok-L 390 kg First lunar impact.
Pioneer P1 (USA) 24-Sep-59 Atlas-Able 170 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Destroyed in booster static test explosion.
Luna 3 (USSR) 04-Oct-59 Vostok-L 278 kg Final stage instrumentation 156 kg; mission payload 434 kg. Photographed 70% of lunar far side.
Pioneer P3 (USA) 26-Nov-59 Atlas-Able 169 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Destroyed when booster shroud lost 45 sec into launch.
Luna 60A (USSR) 15-Apr-60 Vostok-L 279 kg Lunar flyby attempt. Failed to reach Earth orbit, premature stage 2 cutoff.
Luna 60B (USSR) 16-Apr-60 Vostok-L 279 kg Lunar flyby attempt. Strap-on failed to ignite, broke up near pad.
Pioneer P30 (USA) 25-Sep-60 Atlas-Able 176 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Destroyed when booster second-stage oxidizer system malfunctioned.
Pioneer P31 (USA) 15-Dec-60 Atlas-Able 176 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Destroyed when booster first-stage exploded 70 sec into launch.
Ranger 1 (USA) 23-Aug-61 Atlas-Agena 306 kg High Earth orbit test vehicle attempt. Achieved only low Earth orbit when Agena failed to restart.
Ranger 2 (USA) 18-Nov-61 Atlas-Agena 306 kg High Earth orbit test vehicle attempt. Achieved only low Earth orbit when Agena failed to restart.
Ranger 3 (USA) 26-Jan-62 Atlas-Agena 330 kg Hard land seismometer attempt. Lunar fly-by at 36.808 km when Agena imparted excess velocity.
Ranger 4 (USA) 23-Apr-62 Atlas-Agena 331 kg Hard land seismometer attempt. Timer failure. Tracked to indicate impact on lunar far side.
Ranger 5 (USA) 18-Oct-62 Atlas-Agena 341 kg Hard land seismometer attempt. Power failure. Solar orbit after 725 km lunar fly-by.
Sputnik 25 / Luna 63A (USSR) 04-Jan-63 Molniya 1.400 kg Unannounced soft-landing attempt. Earth orbit only.
Luna 63B (USSR) 03-Feb-63 Molniya 1.400 kg Soft-landing attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 4 (USSR) 02-Apr-63 Molniya 1.422 kg Soft-landing attempt. Solar orbit after 8.500 km lunar fly-by.
Ranger 6 (USA) 30-Jan-64 Atlas-Agena 365 kg TV close-up before impact attempt. Crashed on target but no pictures returned.
Luna 64A (USSR) 21-Mar-64 Molniya 1.425 kg Soft-landing attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 64B (USSR) 20-Apr-64 Molniya 1.425 kg Soft-landing attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Ranger 7 (USA) 28-Jul-64 Atlas-Agena 366 kg Returned 4.306 high-resolution pictures before impact on Mare Cognitum.
Surveyor model
Centaur AC4 (USA)
11-Dec-64 Atlas-Centaur - High Earth orbit of Surveyor dynamic model. Engineering development flight of Centaur.
Ranger 8 (USA) 17-Feb-65 Atlas-Agena 367 kg Returned 7.137 high-resolution pictures before impact on Mare Tranquillitatis.
Surveyor-SD 1
Centaur AC5 (USA)
02-Mar-65 Atlas-Centaur - High Earth orbit of Surveyor dynamic model. Engineering development flight of Centaur.
Cosmos 60 (USSR) 12-Mar-65 Molniya 1.470 kg Soft-landing attempt. Earth orbit only.
Ranger 9 (USA) 21-Mar-65 Atlas-Agena 366 kg Returned 5,814 high-resolution pictures before impact inside crater Alphonsus.
Luna 65A (USSR) 10-Apr-65 Molniya 1.476 kg Soft-landing attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 5 (USSR) 09-May-65 Molniya 1.476 kg Soft-landing attempt. Crashed at 31oS x 8oE.
Luna 6 (USSR) 08-Jun-65 Molniya 1.442 kg Soft-landing attempt. Solar orbit after 100,000 mile (160,000 km) lunar fly-by.
Zond 3 (USSR) 18-Jul-65 Molniya 950 kg Lunar fly-by, into solar orbit. Returned pictures of remaining portions of lunar far side.
Surveyor-SD 2
Centaur AC6 (USA)
11-Aug-65 Atlas-Centaur 952 kg High Earth orbit of Surveyor dynamic model. Engineering development flight of Centaur.
Luna 7 (USSR) 04-Oct-65 Molniya 1.506 kg Soft-landing attempt. Impact at 9oN x 40oW.
Luna 8 (USSR) 03-Dec-65 Molniya 1.552 kg Soft-landing attempt. Impact at 9o8'N x 63o18'W.
Luna 9 (USSR) 31-Jan-66 Molniya 1.583 kg First successful soft lunar landing at 7o8'N x 64o33'W. Returned TV panoramas and radiation data over four days. 100 kg capsule.
Cosmos 111 (USSR) 01-Mar-66 Molniya 1.600 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Earth orbit only.
Luna 10 (USSR) 31-Mar-66 Molniya 1.583 kg First successful lunar orbit. 540 lb (245 kg) satellite returned data from 350 x 1017 km, 178.3 min, 71o32' orbit over 56-day life.
Surveyor-SD 3
Centaur AC8 (USA)
08-Apr-66 Atlas-Centaur - High Earth orbit of Surveyor dynamic model. Engineering development flight of Centaur.
Surveyor 1 (USA) 30-May-66 Atlas-Centaur 995 kg Soft-landing at 2o27'S x 43o13'W. Returned 11,237 TV pictures and engineering data over six weeks.
Explorer 33 (USA) 01-Jul-66 Delta 93 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Achieved 15,900 x 435,000 km Earth orbit. Returned particle and field data.
Lunar Orbiter 1 (USA) 10-Aug-66 Atlas-Agena 385 kg Lunar orbit, 40 x 1.865 km, 12o12'. Returned 211 TV pictures of photographs of surface.
Luna 11 (USSR) 24-Aug-66 Molniya 1.640 kg Lunar orbit, 159 x 1,200 km, 178 min, 27o.
Surveyor 2 (USA) 20-Sep-66 Atlas-Centaur 1.000 kg Soft-landing attempt. Crashed south-east of crater Copernicus.
Luna 12 (USSR) 22-Oct-66 Molniya 1.625 kg Luanr orbit, 100 x 1,740 km, 205 min, 15o. Returned TV pictures of surface.
Surveyor-SD 4
Centaur AC9 (USA)
26-Oct-66 Atlas-Centaur 726 kg High Earth orbit with Surveyor mass model. Centaur restart development flight.
Lunar Orbiter 2 (USA) 06-Nov-66 Atlas-Agena 386 kg Lunar orbit: 196 x 1,850 km 11.8o, perilune lowered to 50 km. Returned 817 photo frames of surface.
Luna 13 (USSR) 21-Dec-66 Molniya 1.620 kg Soft-landing at 18o52'N x 62o3'W. Returned TV panoramas and radiation data. Tested soil.
Lunar Orbiter 3 (USA) 05-Feb-67 Atlas-Agena 385 kg Lunar orbit: 40 x 1,850 km, 21o. Returned 182 TV pictures of photographs of surface.
Cosmos 146 (USSR) 10-Mar-67 Proton-K 5.017 kg Zond attempt. Earth orbit only.
Cosmos 154 (USSR) 08-Apr-67 Proton-K 5.600 kg Zond attempt. Earth orbit only.
Surveyor 3 (USA) 17-Apr-67 Atlas-Centaur 1.035 kg Soft-landing at 2o56'S x 23o20'W. Returned 6,315 TV pictures and engineering data. Surface weight 283 kg.
Lunar Orbiter 4 (USA) 04-May-67 Atlas-Agena 390 kg Lunar orbit: 2.704 x 6.033 km, 85o. Returned 163 TV pictures of photographs of surface.
Surveyor 4 (USA) 14-Jul-67 Atlas-Centaur 1.039 kg Soft-landing attempt. Crashed at 0o26'N x 1o20'W.
Explorer 35 (USA) 19-Jul-67 Delta 104 kg Lunar orbit: 804 x 7,400 km, 147o. Returned particle and fields data.
Lunar Orbiter 5 (USA) 01-Aug-67 Atlas-Agena 390 kg Lunar orbit: 196 x 6,014 km, 85o. Returned 213 TV pictures of photographs of surface.
Surveyor 5 (USA) 08-Sep-67 Atlas-Centaur 1.005 kg Soft-landing at 1o25'N x 22o15'E. Returned 18,006 TV pictures. First chemical analysis of soil.
Zond (USSR) 28-Sep-67 Proton-K 5.200 kg Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Surveyor 6 (USA) 07-Nov-67 Atlas-Centaur 1.008 kg Soft-landing at 0o25'N x 1o20'W. Returned 30,065 TV pictures and chemical analysis data.
Zond (USSR) 22-Nov-67 Proton-K 5.200 kg Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Surveyor 7 (USA) 07-Jan-68 Atlas-Centaur 1.040 kg Soft-landing at 40o53'S x 11o26'W near rim of crater Tycho. Returned 21,274 TV pictures and chemical analysis data from lunar highlands.
Luna 68A (USSR) 07-Feb-68 Proton-K 1615 kg Lunar orbit attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Zond 4 (USSR) 02-Mar-68 Proton-K 5.600 kg Zond mission check-out. Solar orbit.
Luna 14 (USSR) 07-Apr-68 Molniya 1.615 kg Lunar orbit: 160 x 870 km, 160 min, 42o.
Zond (USSR) 22-Apr-68 Proton-K 5.600 kg Zond attempt. Failed to reach Earth orbit.
Zond 5 (USSR) 14-Sep-68 Proton-K 5.600 kg Circumlunar fly-by. Returned to Indian Ocean.
Zond 6 (USSR) 10-Nov-68 Proton-K 5.600 kg Circumlunar fly-by. "Skip" return to Soviet Union.
Apollo 8 (USA) 21-Dec-68 Saturn V 28400 kg First manned circumlunar flight. Orbit insertion took place on Dec 24, 1969 at 09:59:20 UT into an elliptical 310.6 km by 111.2 km lunar orbit. Two orbits later a second burn placed Apollo 8 into a near-circular 110.4 by 112.3 km orbit for eight orbits.
Zond (USSR) 20-Jan-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 69A (USSR) 19-Feb-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Lunar rover attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Zond L1S-1 (USSR) 21-Feb-69 N-1 5.600 kg N-1 test & Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 69B (USSR) 15-Apr-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Soil sample-return attempt. Failed to reach Earth orbit.
Apollo 10 (USA) 18-May-69 Saturn V 42908 kg Circumlunar flight. Final dress rehearsal in lunar orbit for moonlanding, second lunar orbital mission, separation and docking of LM Snoopy with Stafford and Cernan; LM taken to within 15243 km of lunar surface, then docking with CSM.
Luna 69C (USSR) 14-Jun-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Soil sample-return attempt. Failed to reach Earth orbit.
Zond L1S-2 (USSR) 03-Jul-69 N-1 5.600 kg N-1 test & Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 15 (USSR) 13-Jul-69 Proton-K 5.700 kg Soil sample-return attempt or rover attempt. Failed to achieve soft lunar landing.
Apollo 11 (USA) 16-Jul-69 Saturn V 43909 kg First manned lunar landing on July 20, 1969 (Armstrong and Aldrin), Armstrong at 3 h 56 m 20s, a.m. (UT) the first man stepping on the lunar surface, 2h 32m EVA on the lunar surface.
Zond 7 (USSR) 07-Aug-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Circumlunar fly-by. "Skip" return to Soviet Union.
Cosmos 300 (USSR) 23-Sep-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Soil sample-return attempt or rover attempt. Failed to leave Earth orbit.
Cosmos 305 (USSR) 22-Oct-69 Proton-K 5.600 kg Soil sample-return attempt or rover attempt. Possible successful trans-lunar injection only.
Apollo 12 (USA) 14-Nov-69 Saturn V 43953 kg Second manned lunar landing on 19 Nov 1969 in Ocean of Storm.
Cosmos 70F02 (USSR) 06-Feb-70 Proton-K 5.600 kg Soil sample-return attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Apollo 13 (USA) 11-Apr-70 Saturn V 44022 kg Third lunar landing attempt, mission was aborted due to rupture of oxygen tank in service module; explosion onboard forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing and immediately return to Earth.
Luna 16 (USSR) 12-Sep-70 Proton-K 5.725 kg First successful automatic lunar soil sample return. Sample from mare region at 0o41'S x 56o18'E. Dry lander 1.880 kg.
Zond 8 (USSR) 20-Oct-70 Proton-K 5.600 kg Circumlunar fly-by. Returned to Indian Ocean.
Luna 17 (USSR) 10-Nov-70 Proton-K 5.600 kg Lunokhod 1 Rover: 756 kg; empty descent stage: 1,080 kg. Total surface payload: 1.836 kg. First successful automatic lunar rover, 38o18'N x 35oW.
Apollo 14 (USA) 31-Jan-71 Saturn V 44554 kg Third manned moon landing on 5 Feb 1971; landing site: Fra Maura; two EVA's from Shepard and Mitchell: 4h 48m and 4h 35m, using hand cart for the first time to transport rocks.
Zond L1S-3 (USSR) 26-Jun-71 N-1 5.600 kg N-1 test & Zond attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Apollo 15 (USA) 26-Jul-71 Saturn V 36 kg Fourth moonlanding on 30 July 1971; landing site: Hadley-Apennine region near Apennine Mountains; lunar surface stay-time 66 h 55 m; Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) first time used.
Apollo 15 Sub-Satellite PFS 1 (USA) 26-Jul-71 Saturn V 36 kg Particle and fields sub-satellite released from Apollo 15.
Luna 18 (USSR) 02-Sep-71 Proton-K 5.500 kg Soil sample-return attempt. Crashed at 3o34'N x 56o30'E.
Luna 19 (USSR) 28-Sep-71 Proton-K 5.600 kg Lunar orbit. Intially 140 km circular; 77 x 385 km, 131 min, 40o after manoeuvring.
Luna 20 (USSR) 14-Feb-72 Proton-K 5.600 kg Automatic soil sample-return from lunar highlands at 3o32'N x 56o33'E.
Apollo 16 (USA) 16-Apr-72 Saturn V 46837 kg Fifth moonlanding on 21 Apr 1972; landing site: Descartes Highlands; lunar surface stay-time 71 h 2 m; LRV used for second time.
Apollo 16 Sub-Satellite PFS 2 (USA) 16-Apr-72 Saturn V 36 kg Particle and fields sub-satellite released from Apollo 16.
Apollo 17 (USA) 07-Dec-72 Saturn V 46847 kg Six and final moonlanding on 11 Dec 1972; landing site: Taurus-Littrow highlands and valley area; lunar surface staying-time: 75 hours.
Zond L1S-4 (USSR) 23-Dec-72 N-1 9850 kg N-1 test with lunar orbiter + model lander. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 21 (USSR) 08-Jan-73 Proton-K 5.600 kg Lunokhod 2 Rover: 840 kg; 25o54'N x 30o30'E.
Explorer 49 (USA) 10-Jun-73 Delta 328 kg Radio Astronomy Explorer placed in lunar orbit.
Luna 22 (USSR) 29-May-74 Proton-K 5.600 kg Lunar orbit. Conducted extensive manoeuvring.
Luna 23 (USSR) 28-Oct-74 Proton-K 5.700 kg Deep soil sample return attempt. Damaged on landing at 12o41'N x 62o18'E.
Luna 75A (USSR) 16-Oct-75 Proton-K 5.600 kg Deep soil sample return attempt. Failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Luna 24 (USSR) 09-Aug-76 Proton-K 5.306 kg Deep soil sample return from 12o45'N x 62o12'E.
Hiten + Hagoroma
(Muses-A) (Japan)
24-Jan-90 Mu-3SII-5 143 kg Earth orbiter that preformed ten lunar fly-bys and lunar impact on 10-Apr-93; subsatellite Hagoromo entered lunar orbit. Originally named MUSES-A
Clementine (USA) 25-Jan-94 Titan 2G 1.690 kg Lunar orbit: 425 x 2,935 km, 90o. Mapped lunar surface. Malfuntion prevented planned fly-by of asteroid Geographos.
Lunar Prospector (USA) 07-Jan-98 Athena II 295 kg Lunar orbiter. Mapped minerals, magnetic & gravitational fields; discovered evidence of possible water ice at lunar poles. Intentionally crashed near moon's south pole 31-Jul-99.
MAP (MIDEX 2) 30-Jun-01 Delta-7425 835 kg MAP flew past the Moon on Jul 30, 2001 at 1639 UTC at a distance of 5200 km above the lunar surface.
Trailblazer 2 (USA) 20-Dec-02 Dnepr - Commercial lunar mission
SMART-1 (ESA) 23-Sep-03 Ariane 5 366 kg First European mission to the Moon; entered lunar orbit 15-Nov-04. Two phase mission to test new technologies and study the Moon. Crashed into moon 3-Sep-06.
ARTEMIS P1 & P2 (USA) 17-Feb-07 Delta-7925 125 kg The Artemis P1 probe entered a retrograde equatorial lunar orbit on Jun 27, 2011 after several months at Earth-Moon L1. Initial orbital parameters are 3543 x 27000 km.
Kaguya + Okina + Ouna
(Selene) (Japan)
14-Sep-07 H-IIA 2885 kg Lunar orbiter with two sub-satellites; entered lunar orbit 3-Oct-07 to obtain scientific data on lunar origins & evolution, and develop the technology for future lunar exploration. Originally named SELENE.
Chang'e 1 (China PR) 24-Oct-07 CZ-3A 2350 kg China's first mission to the Moon; entered lunar orbit Nov 5, 2007 to obtain 3D images of the lunar surface. Chang'e-1 was deorbited at 07:36 UTC on Mar 1, 2009 and impacted the lunar surface at 1.50S 52.36E at 08:13 UTC.
Chandrayaan 1 (India) 22-Oct-08 PSLV-XL 1380 kg India's first mission to the Moon; lunar orbiter (523 kg) and impactor. Entered lunar orbit on Nov 8, 2008 to perform high-resolution remote sensing of the moon in visible, near infrared, and X-ray regions.
Chandrayaan 1MIP (India) 22-Oct-08 PSLV-XL kg On Nov 14, 2008 at 1436 UTC it ejected a 29 kg Moon Impact Probe (MIP). The MIP fired a small deorbit motor to lower its orbit, and hit the moon at 1501 UTC, near Shackleton Crater at the south pole after 25 minutes journey.
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA) 18-Jun-09 Atlas V 1916 kg Lunar orbiter, launched with LCROSS. Entered orbit 23-Jun-09 to find possible landing sites for a lunar outpost, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and test new technology.
Lunar Crater Observation & Sensing Satellite (USA) 18-Jun-09 Atlas V 891 kg Lunar impactor/probe, launched with LRO. Confirmed presence of water in permanently shadowed Cabeus crater by flying through debris plume created by previously impacted Centaur stage. Impact on 9-Oct-09.
Chang'e 2 (China) 01-Oct-10 CZ-3C 2300 kg On Oct 9, 2010 it was in a 100 x 100 km orbit around the Moon. Chang'e-2 probe left lunar orbit on Jun 9, 2011 on a trajectory to the Earth-Sun L2 point. Chang'e-2 space probe made a remarkable 3.2 km flyby of minor planet (4179) Toutatis on Dec 13, 2012 at 0830:09 UTC and returned images of the asteroid.
GRAIL A 10-Sep-11 Delta-7920H-10C 202 kg Lunar gravity field mapping. The two GRAIL spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, completed their gravity mapping mission and impacted the lunar surface at 75.62N 26.63W at 2229 UTC on Dec 17, 2012
GRAIL B 10-Sep-11 Delta-7920H-10C 202 kg Lunar gravity field mapping. The two GRAIL spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, completed their gravity mapping mission and impacted the lunar surface at 75.62N 26.63W at 2229 UTC on Dec 17, 2012
LADEE 07-Sep-13 Minotaur 5 383 kg Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Experiment mission for NASA.
NASA's spacecraft was lowered into an orbit with a 2 km perilune in early April 2014, and it impacted the lunar farside between 0430 and 0522 UTC Apr 18, 2014.
Chang´e 3 (China) 01-Dec-13 CZ-3B/G3Z 3800 kg Chang´e-3 was in lunar polar orbit from Dec 6 to Dec 14, 2013. On Dec 10 at 1320 UTC the orbit was lowered from 100 x 100 to 15 x 100 km. At 1259:52 UTC Dec 14, near perilune, the descent engine was turned on to decelerate the probe and fly it down to the surface. Chang´e-3 touched down at 1311:18 UTC Dec 14, at 19.51W 44.12N, about 43 km south of crater Laplace F in the Mare Imbrium. This was the first lunar soft landing since the USSR's Luna-24 in 1976.
Chang´e 5-T1 (China) 23-Oct-14 CZ-3C/G2 ? kg Chang´e 5-T1 is a demonstrator probe launched on a round-trip flight around the moon to test out a heat shield and landing capsule planned for use on a lunar sample return mission in 2017. The demonstrator will swing around the far side of the moon, using lunar gravity to slingshot the craft back to Earth. It is to validate the technology for the reentry vehicle.
Chang'e 5-T1 consists of a Chang'e 2 type spacecraft featuring the Chang'e 5 return capsule. The planned landing took on Oct 31, 2014 at Inner Mongolia.
The Reentry Return Test Vehicle Service Module (RRTV-SM) departed the Earth-Moon L2 region on Jan 4, 2015 and after 2 further lunar orbit burns on Jan 12 and 13, it now in a 200 x 200 km x 43.7 deg orbit around the Moon.
TESS 18 Apr 2018 Falcon-9 v1.2 ? kg TESS will make a lunar flyby on May 27, 2018 and reach a half-month-period operational orbit on Jun 12. It will spend two years staring at sectors of the sky for a month at a time until it has searched the entire sky for transiting exoplanets.
Chang´e 4 (China) 07 Dec 2018 CZ-3B/G3Z 3780 kg Launch on Dec 7, 2018; it is the first mission to land on the far side of the Moon.


Ref.: #7(JR672,691,696,708,748), #27, #37, #98 - update: 04.01.19 Home