Chronology of Lunar and Planetary Exploration


| 1957 | 1958 | 1959 |
| 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 |
| 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 |
| 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 |
| 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 |
| 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |
| 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 |


Mission Timeline


1957
Sputnik 1 - 4 October 1957 - Earth Orbiter
Sputnik 2 - 3 November 1957 - Earth Orbiter
Vanguard TV3 - 6 December 1957 - Attempted Earth Orbiter (Launch Failure)
1958
Explorer 1 - 1 February 1958 - Earth Orbiter
Vanguard 1 - 17 March 1958 - Earth Orbiter
Pioneer 0 - 17 August 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
Luna 1958A - 23 September 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 1 - 11 October 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
Luna 1958B - 12 October 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 2 - 8 November 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
Luna 1958C - 4 December 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 3 - 6 December 1958 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
1959
Luna 1 - 2 January 1959 - Lunar Flyby (Attempted Lunar Impact?)
Pioneer 4 - 3 March 1959 - Lunar Flyby
Luna 1959A - 16 June 1959 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Luna 2 - 12 September 1959 - Lunar Impact
Luna 3 - 4 October 1959 - Lunar Flyby
Pioneer P-3 - 26 November 1959 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
1960
Luna 1960A - 15 April 1960 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 1960B - 18 April 1960 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
Pioneer P-30 - 25 Sept 1960 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Marsnik 1 (Mars 1960A) - 10 October 1960 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Marsnik 2 (Mars 1960B) - 14 October 1960 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Pioneer P-31 - 15 December 1960 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
1961
Sputnik 7 - 4 February 1961 - Attempted Venus Impact
Venera 1 - 12 February 1961 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Ranger 1 - 23 August 1961 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight
Ranger 2 - 18 November 1961 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight
1962
Ranger 3 - 26 January 1962 - Attempted Lunar Impact
Ranger 4 - 23 April 1962 - Lunar Impact
Mariner 1 - 22 July 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Sputnik 19 - 25 August 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
Mariner 2 - 27 August 1962 - Venus Flyby
Sputnik 20 - 1 September 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
Sputnik 21 - 12 September 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
Ranger 5 - 18 October 1962 - Attempted Lunar Impact
Sputnik 22 - 24 October 1962 - Attempted Mars Flyby
Mars 1 - 1 November 1962 - Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
Sputnik 24 - 4 November 1962 - Attempted Mars Lander
1963
Sputnik 25 - 4 January 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Luna 1963B - 2 February 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Luna 4 - 2 April 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Cosmos 21 - 11 November 1963 - Attempted Venera Test Flight?
1964
Ranger 6 - 30 January 1964 - Lunar Impact (Cameras Failed)
Venera 1964A - 19 February 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Venera 1964B - 1 March 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 1964A - 21 March 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Cosmos 27 - 27 March 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby
Zond 1 - 2 April 1964 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Luna 1964B - 20 April 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Zond 1964A - 4 June 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Ranger 7 - 28 July 1964 - Lunar Impact
Mariner 3 - 5 November 1964 - Attempted Mars Flyby
Mariner 4 - 28 November 1964 - Mars Flyby
Zond 2 - 30 November 1964 - Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
1965
Ranger 8 - 17 February 1965 - Lunar Impact
Cosmos 60 - 12 March 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Ranger 9 - 21 March 1965 - Lunar Impact
Luna 1965A - 10 April 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander? (Launch Failure)
Luna 5 - 9 May 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
Luna 6 - 8 June 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Zond 3 - 18 July 1965 - Lunar Flyby
Luna 7 - 4 October 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
Venera 2 - 12 November 1965 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Venera 3 - 16 November 1965 - Venus Lander (Contact Lost)
Cosmos 96 - 23 November 1965 - Attempted Venus Lander?
Venera 1965A - 23 November 1965 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 8 - 3 December 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing?)
1966
Luna 9 - 31 January 1966 - Lunar Lander
Cosmos 111 - 1 March 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter?
Luna 10 - 31 March 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
Luna 1966A - 30 April 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
Surveyor 1 - 30 May 1966 - Lunar Lander
Explorer 33 - 1 July 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter 1 - 10 August 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
Luna 11 - 24 August 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
Surveyor 2 - 20 September 1966 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Luna 12 - 22 October 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter 2 - 6 November 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
Luna 13 - 21 December 1966 - Lunar Lander
1967
Lunar Orbiter 3 - 4 February 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
Surveyor 3 - 17 April 1967 - Lunar Lander
Lunar Orbiter 4 - 8 May 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
Venera 4 - 12 June 1967 - Venus Probe
Mariner 5 - 14 June 1967 - Venus Flyby
Cosmos 167 - 17 June 1967 - Attempted Venus Probe
Surveyor 4 - 14 July 1967 - Attempted Lunar Lander
Explorer 35 (IMP-E) - 19 July 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter 5 - 1 August 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
Surveyor 5 - 8 September 1967 - Lunar Lander
Zond 1967A - 28 September 1967 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
Surveyor 6 - 7 November 1967 - Lunar Lander
Zond 1967B - 22 November 1967 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
1968
Surveyor 7 - 7 January 1968 - Lunar Lander
Luna 1968A - 7 February 1968 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Zond 4 - 2 March 1968 - Test Flight
Luna 14 - 7 April 1968 - Lunar Orbiter
Zond 1968A - 23 April 1968 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight? (Launch Failure)
Zond 5 - 15 September 1968 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Zond 6 - 10 November 1968 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Apollo 8 - 21 December 1968 - Crewed Lunar Orbiter
1969
Venera 5 - 5 January 1969 - Venus Probe
Venera 6 - 10 January 1969 - Venus Probe
Zond 1969A - 20 January 1969 - Attempted Lunar Flyby and Return (Launch Failure)
Luna 1969A - 19 February 1969 - Attempted Lunar Rover? (Launch Failure)
Zond L1S-1 - 21 February 1969 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Mariner 6 - 25 February 1969 - Mars Flyby
Mariner 7 - 27 March 1969 - Mars Flyby
Mars 1969A - 27 March 1969 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Mars 1969B - 2 April 1969 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Luna 1969B - 15 April 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Apollo 10 - 18 May 1969 - Crewed Lunar Orbiter
Luna 1969C - 14 June 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Zond L1S-2 - 3 July 1969 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Luna 15 - 13 July 1969 - Lunar Orbiter (Attempted Lunar Lander?)
Apollo 11 - 16 July 1969 - Crewed Lunar Landing
Zond 7 - 7 August 1969 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Cosmos 300 - 23 September 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
Cosmos 305 - 22 October 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
Apollo 12 - 14 November 1969 - Crewed Lunar Landing
1970
Luna 1970A - 6 February 1970 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Luna 1970B - 19 February 1970 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
Apollo 13 - 11 April 1970 - Crewed Lunar Mission (Landing Aborted)
Venera 7 - 17 August 1970 - Venus Lander
Cosmos 359 - 22 August 1970 - Attempted Venus Probe
Luna 16 - 12 September 1970 - Lunar Sample Return
Zond 8 - 20 October 1970 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Luna 17/Lunokhod 1 - 10 November 1970 - Lunar Rover
1971
Apollo 14 - 31 January 1971 - Crewed Lunar Landing
Mariner 8 - 9 May 1971 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Cosmos 419 - 10 May 1971 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Lander
Mars 2 - 19 May 1971 - Mars Orbiter/ Attempted Lander
Mars 3 - 28 May 1971 - Mars Orbiter/ Lander
Mariner 9 - 30 May 1971 - Mars Orbiter
Apollo 15 - 26 July 1971 - Crewed Lunar Landing
Luna 18 - 2 September 1971 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return
Luna 19 - 28 September 1971 - Lunar Orbiter
1972
Luna 20 - 14 February 1972 - Lunar Sample Return
Pioneer 10 - 3 March 1972 - Jupiter Flyby
Venera 8 - 27 March 1972 - Venus Probe
Cosmos 482 - 31 March 1972 - Attempted Venus Probe
Apollo 16 - 16 April 1972 - Crewed Lunar Landing
Soyuz L3 - 23 November 1972 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Apollo 17 - 7 December 1972 - Crewed Lunar Landing
1973
Luna 21/Lunokhod 2 - 8 January 1973 - Lunar Rover
Pioneer 11 - 5 April 1973 - Jupiter/Saturn Flyby
Skylab - 14 May 1973 - Crewed Earth Orbiter
Explorer 49 (RAE-B) - 10 June 1973 - Lunar Orbiter/Radio Astronomy
Mars 4 - 21 July 1973 - Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Orbiter)
Mars 5 - 25 July 1973 - Mars Orbiter
Mars 6 - 5 August 1973 - Mars Lander (Contact Lost)
Mars 7 - 9 August 1973 - Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Lander)
Mariner 10 - 4 November 1973 - Venus/Mercury Flybys
1974
Luna 22 - 2 June 1974 - Lunar Orbiter
Luna 23 - 28 October 1974 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return
1975
Venera 9 - 8 June 1975 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 10 - 14 June 1975 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
Viking 1 - 20 August 1975 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
Viking 2 - 9 September 1975 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
Luna 1975A - 16 October 1975 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
1976
Luna 24 - 9 August 1976 - Lunar Sample Return
1977
Voyager 2 - 20 August 1977 - Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus/Neptune Flyby
Voyager 1 - 5 September 1977 - Jupiter/Saturn Flyby
1978
Pioneer Venus 1 - 20 May 1978 - Venus Orbiter
Pioneer Venus 2 - 8 August 1978 - Venus Probes
ISEE-3/ICE - 12 August 1978 - Comet Giacobini-Zinner and Halley Flybys
Venera 11 - 9 September 1978 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 12 - 14 September 1978 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
1979
1980
1981
Venera 13 - 30 October 1981 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 14 - 4 November 1981 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
1982
1983
Venera 15 - 2 June 1983 - Venus Orbiter
Venera 16 - 7 June 1983 - Venus Orbiter
1984
Vega 1 - 15 December 1984 - Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
Vega 2 - 21 December 1984 - Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
1985
Sakigake - 7 January 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
Giotto - 2 July 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
Suisei (Planet-A) - 18 August 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
1986
1987
1988
Phobos 1 - 7 July 1988 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Phobos Landers
Phobos 2 - 12 July 1988 - Mars Orbiter/Attempted Phobos Landers
1989
Magellan - 4 May 1989 - Venus Orbiter
Galileo - 18 October 1989 - Jupiter Orbiter and Probe
1990
Hiten - 24 January 1990 - Lunar Flyby and Orbiter
Hubble Space Telescope - 25 April 1990 - Earth Orbiting Observatory
Ulysses - 06 October 1990 - Jupiter Flyby and Solar Polar Orbiter
1991
1992
Mars Observer - 25 September 1992 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Contact Lost)
1993
1994
Clementine - 25 January 1994 - Lunar Orbiter/Attempted Asteroid Flyby
1995
1996
NEAR - 17 February 1996 - Asteroid Eros Orbiter
Mars Global Surveyor - 07 November 1996 - Mars Orbiter
Mars 96 - 16 November 1996 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Landers
Mars Pathfinder - 04 December 1996 - Mars Lander and Rover
1997
Cassini - 15 October 1997 - Saturn Orbiter
Huygens - 15 October 1997 - Titan Probe
AsiaSat 3/HGS-1 - 24 December 1997 - Lunar Flyby
1998
Lunar Prospector - 7 January 1998 - Lunar Orbiter
Nozomi (Planet-B) - 3 July 1998 - Mars Orbiter
Deep Space 1 (DS1) - 24 October 1998 - Asteroid and Comet Flyby
Mars Climate Orbiter - 11 December 1998 - Attempted Mars Orbiter
1999
Mars Polar Lander - 3 January 1999 - Attempted Mars Lander
Deep Space 2 (DS2) - 3 January 1999 - Attempted Mars Penetrators
Stardust - 7 February 1999 - Comet Coma Sample Return
2000
2001
2001 Mars Odyssey - 7 April 2001 - Mars Orbiter
Genesis - 8 August 2001 - Solar Wind Sample Return
2002
CONTOUR - 3 July 2002 - Fly-by of three Comet Nuclei
2003
Hayabusa (Muses-C) - 9 May 2003 - Asteroid Orbiter and Sample Return
Mars Express - 2 June 2003 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
Spirit (MER-A) - 10 June 2003 - Mars Rover
Opportunity (MER-B) - 8 July 2003 - Mars Rover
SMART 1 - September 2003 - Lunar Orbiter
2004
Rosetta - 2 March 2004 - Comet Orbiter and Lander
MESSENGER - 3 August 2004 - Mercury Orbiter
2005
Deep Impact - 12 January 2005 - Comet Rendezvous and Impact
Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter - 12 August 2005 - Mars Orbiter
Venus Express - 09 November 2005 - ESA Venus Orbiter
2006
New Horizons - 19 January 2006 - Pluto/Charon and Kuiper Belt Flyby
2007
Phoenix - 04 August 2007 - Small Mars Scout Lander
Kaguya (SELENE) - 14 September 2007 - Lunar Orbiter
Dawn - 27 September 2007 - Asteroid Ceres and Vesta Orbiter
Chang'e 1 - 24 October 2007 - CAST (China) Lunar Orbiter
Lunar-A - Cancelled - Lunar Orbiter and Penetrators
2008
Chandrayaan-1 - 22 October 2008 - ISRO (India) Lunar Orbiter
2009
Kepler - 7 March 2009 - Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection Mission
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - 18 June 2009 - Lunar Orbiter
LCROSS - 18 June 2009 - Lunar Impactor
2010
Akatsuki/Planet-C - 20 May 2010 - ISAS Venus Orbiter
Chang'e 2 - 1 October 2010 - CAST (China) Lunar Orbiter
2011
Juno - 5 August 2011 - Jupiter Orbiter
GRAIL - 10 September 2011 - Lunar Orbiter
Phobos-Grunt - 08 November 2011 - Attempted Martian Moon Phobos Lander
Yinghuo-1 - 08 November 2011 - Attempted Mars Orbiter
Mars Science Laboratory - 26 November 2011 - Mars Rover
2012
2013

LADEE - 06 September 2013 - Lunar Orbiter
Mangalyaan - 05 November 2013 - ISRO (India) Mars Orbiter
MAVEN - 18 November 2013 - Mars Scout Mission Orbiter
Chang'e 3 - 01 December 2013 - Lunar Lander and Rover
2014
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle - 23 October 2014 - Lunar Flyby and Return
Hayabusa 2 - 3 December 2014 - JAXA Asteroid Sample Return
PROCYON - 3 December 2014 - JAXA Asteroid Flyby Mission
2015
2016
ExoMars 2016 - 14 March 2016 - ESA Mars Orbiter and Lander
OSIRIS-REx - 8 September 2016 - Sample Return Mission to Asteroid Bennu
2017
BepiColombo - 27 January 2017 - ESA and JAXA Mercury Orbiters
Chang'e 5 - 2017 - CNSA (China) Lunar Sample Return Mission
2018
ExoMars 2018 - May 2018 - ESA Mars Rover and Russian Surface Platform
InSight - 5 May 2018 - Mars Lander
Chang'e 4 - Late 2018 - CNSA (China) Lunar Farside Lander
2019
2020


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NASA
Author/Curator:
Dr. David R. Williams, dave.williams@nasa.gov
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
+1-301-286-1258


NASA Official: Ed Grayzeck, edwin.j.grayzeck@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 12 April 2016, DRW