In recent years, nations around the world have advanced technology. From mobile smartphones to self-driving cars, our world is becoming more advanced. One area that has seem some advancements but still remains relatively mysterious is outer space. Reaching or exploring other planets and the moon has been a rare occurrence, even with all of the technological advances that we’ve seen throughout the last several decades.
Landing on the moon has been a difficult feat, but it has been done by both manned and unmanned spacecraft. The very first nation to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union. A man-made spacecraft known as the Luna 2 arrived at the surface of the moon in 1959.
Fast forward a decade later, and the first manned mission landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. This mission was known as Apollo 11 and was launched by the United States. Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon.
Following this historic event, additional NASA missions brought a total of 12 men from the U.S. to the moon until 1972.
From 1966 to 1976, the U.S. and Soviet Union launched a total of 12 unmanned spacecraft to perform scientific operations on the surface of the moon.
As of early 2019, there have been additional nations that have had unmanned crash landings on the moon. Those nations include Japan, the United States, French Guiana, China, and India. In 2013, China’s Chang-e 3 made an unmanned landing on the moon. The Change’4 – also launched by China – was the first spacecraft to reach the far side of the moon. This occurred on January 3, 2019.