Moon Landings and Where do nation’s stand?
A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions.
Soviet Union’s Luna 2 became the 1st spacecraft to land on the moon’s surface on 13th Sept. 1959.
In 1968, NASA’s Apollo 8 made the 1st manned flight to the moon, circling it 10 times before returning to Earth.
‘Man on the Moon’
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first people to reach the moon in Apollo 11 lunar lander. A total of twelve men have ever landed on the Moon.
U.S the Front runner
To date, the United States is the only country to have successfully conducted manned missions to the Moon. It did that six times as part of the Apollo program, with the last one in December 1972. It plans to send a manned mission to moon by 2020 and eventually use it as a base for human flight to Mars and beyond.
Other Countries who have done it
Apart from U.S. and Soviet Union, moon missions have been conducted by European Space Agency, Japan, India and China.
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first lunar probe. This unmanned mission was launched in Oct. 2008 and operated until Aug. 2009. India Plans to launch manned mission to moon called Gaganyaan mission by 2022. China also plans to launch manned mission to moon.