Jul 20, 2019

All the Moon landings, from Luna to Apollo to Chang'e

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Data: Axios research; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

Humans have successfully landed 20 crewed and uncrewed missions on the Moon’s surface, with more to come.

The big picture: More and more nations are shooting for the Moon, with India aiming to send a lander and rover there next week.

Details: Earlier this year, Israel's Beresheet spacecraft attempted a lunar landing, but an issue with the main engine caused it to fail.

The timeline beneath the Moon shows when each landing occurred, highlighting the 37-year gap between the last Soviet mission in 1976 and the first Chinese one in 2013.

The graphic is interactive. You can spin the Moon, and you can tap on each mission’s dot — either on the Moon itself or on the timeline — to learn more.

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Pence: NASA ready for final preparations for U.S. manned Moon mission

Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence said at Kennedy Space Center Saturday that NASA's Orion capsule is "ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight" to take American astronauts back to the Moon.

What he's saying: "America will return to the Moon within the next 5 years and the next man and the first woman on the Moon will be American astronauts,” Pence said at the event on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, alongside Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. "We’re going back."

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Keep ReadingArrowJul 21, 2019

We don’t know how much water is on the Moon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public and private space enterprises are aiming to extract water from the Moon, which they hope to turn into rocket fuel to fly missions farther into our solar system. However, it's not yet clear how much water is available on or below the lunar surface.

Why it matters: If NASA and others can extract water from the Moon, it would change exploration as we know it.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 20, 2019

Deep Dive: Factory Moon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Moon, long an object of fascination and exploration, is now also seen as a place to make money.

The big picture: 50 years ago during the Apollo 11 mission, humans were drawn to our nearest cosmic neighbor by scientific curiosity and the desire to demonstrate technological prowess and geopolitical power. But now there’s a financial incentive for the entrepreneurially minded.

Go deeperArrowJul 20, 2019 - Science