Chandrayaan 2 set for Moon touchdown: These countries have been there
Russia (the USSR), Japan, China, the European Space Agency (ESA), and India have all made visits to the moon via probes.
India will become the fourth country to have landed on the lunar surface if the lander of its moon mission Chandrayaan-2 lands successfully near its previously unexplored South Pole on Saturday.
The United States, the Soviet Union and China are the three nations which have successfully landed their spacecraft on the moon. And, the US is the only country to have ever put people on the moon.
Russia (the USSR), Japan, China, the European Space Agency (ESA), and India have all made visits to the moon via probes. An Israeli nonprofit attempted to send a lander named Beresheet to the moon earlier this year, but it crashed. India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water.
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has carried out several lunar landings, including the one in 1969 that took the first human, Neil Armstrong, to the moon. Before this, the US had sent unmanned lunar probes to conduct scientific studies. Its latest probe the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission began on September 7, 2013, and ended on April 18, 2014.
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The Soviet Union was in a strong competition with the US since the Cold War and both conducted several space explorations under the Space Race. Yuri Gagarin from the USSR became the first human to journey into outer space in 1961. The USSR sent several robotic spacecraft missions to the moon under its Luna programme between 1959 and 1976. Of these 15 were successful and information about the tests and launches were revealed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The last of these lunar missions was Luna 24 in 1976, which collected samples of the moon’s soil.
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China launched its first lunar spacecraft named after the goddess of moon, Chang’e-1, to the moon on October 24, 2007. The orbit completed its 16-month mission and crashed on March 1, 2009. China’s second lunar orbiter Chang’e 3 managed to land a rover on the surface of the moon in 2013. Its Chang’e-4 was the first spacecraft to reach the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019.
Hiten and Selene were Japanese probes, which orbited the moon before crashing on its surface as planned. The Hiten probe was launched on January 24, 1990, and crashed on April 10, 1993. The Selene orbiter was launched September 14, 2007, and like Hiten crashed on June 10, 2009.
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European Space Agency
ESA drove by the moon in 2003 with the satellite Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology-1 or SMART-1. The Swedish-designed satellite took clear images of the moon and ended its mission by crashing onto the lunar surface in a controlled collision.
India has already successfully launched Chandraayan-1 probe to the moon that crashed on March 1, 2009, after its launch on October 22, 2008.