How Many Countries Have Been To The Moon? [Successfully]

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One of the most iconic and impressive astronomical explorations to date have been to the Moon. But what countries and space agencies have managed to get there? Intrigued, I spent some time researching and here is what I found.

So how many countries have been to the Moon? Five countries have been to the moon, although only three counties have landed. Only one country, the United States, has walked on the moon. In total, there have been a total of 67 successfully completed moon missions to date and over a dozen scheduled in the future.

Being Earths natural satellite, missions to the moon have been a focus of space exploration ever since the 1980s.

In fact, the entire Space Race and an entire political war was focused entirely upon it.

But the truth is, only a handful of countries have completed missions there.

Even fewer have landed.

And only one has walked.

Let us now take a closer look at all of these countries!

Which Countries Have Been To The Moon?

The five countries that have been to the Moon to date are the United States, China, Japan, Luxembourg, and India. Although, a further 2 political unions, the Soviet Union and the European Union have visited too.

It does not sound like a lot does it?

Well. Visiting the moon is a considerable feat.

It takes an incredible amount of investment, research, knowledge, resources and technology to do so.

This is also why not all missions to the moon have been successful.

But what does the success rate look like across these countries and political unions?

Here they are, in order of achievement:

  • USA – 32 completed missions to date
  • China – 7
  • Japan – 2
  • Luxembourg – 1
  • India – 1

From here, the two political unions have achieved:

  • Soviet Union – 23 completed missions to date
  • European Union – 1 completed mission to date

Of course, visiting the Moon is not the only space exploration either.

Nevertheless, below you can see the full list of successful and unsuccessful missions

Successful Moon Missions

There are a total of 67 completed missions to date. 2 are still ongoing.

SpacecraftLaunch DateNationMission Type
Mechta02 January 1959Soviet UnionImpactor
Luna 212 September 1959Soviet UnionImpactor
Luna 304 October 1959Soviet UnionFlyby
Ranger 728 July 1964United StatesImpactor
Ranger 817 February 1965United StatesImpactor
Ranger 921 March 1965United StatesImpactor
Zond 318 July 1965Soviet UnionFlyby
Luna 931 January 1966Soviet UnionLander
Luna 1031 March 1966Soviet UnionOrbiter
Surveyor 130 May 1966United StatesLander
Luna 1222 October 1966Soviet UnionOrbiter
Lunar Orbiter 206 November 1966United StatesOrbiter
Luna 1321 December 1966Soviet UnionLander
Lunar Orbiter 305 February 1967United StatesOrbiter
Surveyor 317 April 1967United StatesLander
Lunar Orbiter 404 May 1967United StatesOrbiter
Explorer 3519 July 1967United StatesOrbiter
Lunar Orbiter 501 August 1967United StatesOrbiter
Surveyor 508 September 1967United StatesLander
Surveyor 607 November 1967United StatesLander
Surveyor 707 January 1968United StatesLander
Luna 1407 April 1968Soviet UnionOrbiter
Zond 514 September 1968Soviet UnionFlyby, circled
Apollo 821 December 1968United StatesCrewed orbiter
Apollo 1018 May 1969United StatesCrewed orbiter
Apollo 1116 July 1969United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander
Zond 707 August 1969Soviet UnionFlyby
Apollo 1214 November 1969United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander
Luna 1612 September 1970Soviet UnionSample return
Zond 820 October 1970Soviet UnionFlyby
Luna 1710 November 1970Soviet UnionLander/rover
Apollo 1431 January 1971United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander
Apollo 1526 July 1971United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander/rover
PFS-126 July 1971United StatesOrbiter
Luna 1928 September 1971Soviet UnionOrbiter
Luna 2014 February 1972Soviet UnionSample return
Apollo 1616 April 1972United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander/rover
PFS-216 April 1972United StatesOrbiter
Apollo 1707 December 1972United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander/rover
Luna 2108 January 1973Soviet UnionLander/rover
Explorer 4910 June 1973United StatesOrbiter
Mariner 1003 November 1973United StatesFlyby
Luna 2229 May 1974Soviet UnionOrbiter
Luna 2409 August 1976Soviet UnionSample return
ISEE-312 August 1978United StatesGravity assist
Hiten24 January 1990JapanFlyby/Orbiter
Geotail24 July 1992Japan/United StatesGravity assist
WIND01 November 1994United StatesGravity assist
Clementine25 January 1994United StatesOrbiter
Lunar Prospector07 January 1998United StatesOrbiter
WMAP30 June 2001United StatesGravity assist
SMART-127 September 2003United StatesOrbiter
STEREO25 October 2006United StatesGravity assist
SELENE14 September 2007United StatesOrbiter
Chang’e 124 October 2007Soviet UnionOrbiter
Chandrayaan-122 October 2008IndiaOrbiter
LCROSS18 June 2009United StatesImpactor
Chang’e 201 October 2010Soviet UnionOrbiter
Ebb10 September 2011United StatesOrbiter[77]
Flow10 September 2011United StatesOrbiter[77]
LADEE07 September 2013United StatesOrbiter
Manfred Memorial Moon Mission23 October 2014European UnionFlyby
TESS18 April 2018United StatesGravity assist
Chang’e 523 November 2020Soviet UnionLander/sample return

There are a further two ongoing operational missions:

SpacecraftLaunch DateNationMission Type
ARTEMIS17 February 2007 NASAOrbiter
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter18 June 2009 NASAOrbiter

Unsuccessful Moon Missions

There are a total of 54 unsuccessful missions to date.

SpacecraftLaunch DateNationMission Type
Pioneer 017 August 1958United StatesOrbiter
Luna E-1 No.123 September 1958Soviet UnionImpactor
Pioneer 111 October 1958United StatesOrbiter
Luna E-1 No.211 October 1958Soviet UnionImpactor
Pioneer 208 November 1958United StatesOrbiter
Luna E-1 No.304 December 1958Soviet UnionImpactor
Pioneer 306 December 1958United StatesFlyby
Pioneer 403 March 1959United StatesFlyby
E-1A No.118 June 1959Soviet UnionImpactor
Pioneer P-326 November 1959United StatesOrbiter
Luna E-3 No.115 April 1960Soviet UnionFlyby
Luna E-3 No.216 April 1960Soviet UnionFlyby
Pioneer P-3025 September 1960United StatesOrbiter
Pioneer P-3115 December 1960United StatesOrbiter
Ranger 326 January 1962United StatesImpactor
Ranger 423 April 1962United StatesImpactor
Ranger 518 October 1962United StatesImpactor
Luna E-6 No.204 January 1963Soviet UnionLander
Luna E-6 No.303 February 1963Soviet UnionLander
Luna 402 April 1963Soviet UnionLander
Ranger 630 January 1964United StatesImpactor
Luna E-6 No.621 March 1964Soviet UnionLander
Luna E-6 No.520 April 1964Soviet UnionLander
Kosmos 6012 March 1965Soviet UnionLander
Luna E-6 No.810 April 1965Soviet UnionLander
Luna 509 May 1965Soviet UnionLander
Luna 608 June 1965Soviet UnionLander
Luna 704 October 1965Soviet UnionLander
Luna 803 December 1965Soviet UnionLander
Kosmos 11101 March 1966Soviet UnionOrbiter
Explorer 3301 July 1966United StatesOrbiter
Lunar Orbiter 110 August 1966United StatesOrbiter
Surveyor 220 September 1966United StatesLander
Surveyor 414 July 1967United StatesLander
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.4L27 September 1967Soviet UnionFlyby
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.5L22 November 1967Soviet UnionFlyby
Luna E-6LS No.11207 February 1968Soviet UnionOrbiter
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.7L22 April 1968Soviet UnionFlyby
Zond 610 November 1968Soviet UnionFlyby
Soyuz 7K-L1 No.13L20 January 1969Soviet UnionFlyby
Luna E-8 No.20119 February 1969Soviet UnionLander/rover
Soyuz 7K-L1S No.321 February 1969Soviet UnionOrbiter
Luna E-8-5 No.40214 June 1969Soviet UnionSample return
Soyuz 7K-L1S No.503 July 1969Soviet UnionOrbiter
Luna 1513 July 1969Soviet UnionSample return
Kosmos 30023 September 1969Soviet UnionSample return
Kosmos 30522 October 1969Soviet UnionSample return
Luna E-8-5 No.40506 February 1970Soviet UnionSample return
Apollo 1311 April 1970United StatesCrewed orbiter/lander
Luna 1802 September 1971Soviet UnionSample return
Soyuz 7K-LOK No.103 July 1972Soviet UnionOrbiter
Luna E-8-5M No.41216 October 1975Soviet UnionSample return
Hagoromo24 January 1990JapanOrbiter
Nozomi03 July 1998JapanGravity assist

Future Missions (Funded And Under Development)

There are currently 37 moon missions planned and funded – 33 of which are robotic and a further 4 are crewed.

Robotic

CountryNameLaunch dueLaunch Vehicle
USACAPSTONEQ2 2021Electron
USAPhotonQ2 2021Electron
USAMission OneQ4 2021Vulcan Centaur
United KingdomSpacebit Mission One[98]2021[99]Vulcan Centaur
MexicoColmena2021Vulcan Centaur
USANova-COct-21Falcon 9
RussiaLuna 25Oct-21Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M
USAArtemis 1Nov-21SLS Block 1
GermanyALINA[108]2021Ariane 6
IndiaChandrayaan-32022GSLV Mk III
USATBD2022Xcraft[113]
JapanSLIM[114]Jan-22H-IIA 202
South KoreaKorea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO)Aug-22Falcon 9
USANova-C 22022Falcon 9
USAXL-12022Falcon 9
USAArtemis-7 lander2022Falcon 9
USABlue GhostMid 2023TBA
USAVIPER roverNov-23TBA
AustraliaAustralia Lunar Exploration Mission2023TBD
USAHakuto-R rover2023Falcon 9
TurkeyTBD2023TBD
JapanDESTINY+2023 or 2024Epsilon
ChinaChang’e 62023 or 2024Long March 5
ChinaChang’e 72024 Long March 5
RussiaLuna 262024Soyuz-2
CanadaLight weight camera and planetary navigation system2024TBD
USAArdoride2024TBA
USABlue Moon2024TBA
UAERashid2024TBA
RussiaLuna 272025Soyuz
UKMoonPIE2025TBD
TurkeyTBD2028TBD
GermanyProject MoonriseUnknownTBD

Crewed

CountryNameLaunch DueLaunch Vehicle
USA/ CanadaArtemis 2Aug-23SLS Block 1
USA#dearMoon project2023Starship
USAArtemis 32024SLS Block 1
RussiaOrel spacecraft2025Soyuz-5

Mission space data sources: Wikipedia

Which Country Reached The Moon First?

The Soviet Union was the first political union to reach the moon on the 02nd January 1959. It was not until 28 July 1964 that the United States reached the moon.

What Countries Have Walked On The Moon?

The only country that has walked on the Moon is the United States. This first happened through the Apollo 11 mission of July 20, 1969; where two astronauts (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) successfully landed and walked across the lunar surface.

Apollo 11 was part of a wider Apollo program that ran between 1961-1972. A total of 12 astronauts walked on the moon during this time and across the various missions.

NASA, the American space agency, is currently planning the Artemis Program; which intends again to land humans on the moon.

How Many Countries Have Flags On The Moon?

The United States is the only country to have deployed flags on the moon; doing so back in the Apollo program between 1969-1972.

These flags cannot be seen with a telescope however.

Outside of flags, four other countries (China, Japan, India, and the former Soviet Union) along with the European Space Agency have sent probes and other unmanned spacecraft to the lunar surface of the moon.