ESO Moon.jpg
Exploring the Moon

A history of lunar discovery from the first
space probes to recent times
The first robot explorers

Landers and orbiters 1

Landers and orbiters 2

Sample returns and lunar rovers

Map of lunar landings

Table of Moon probes

Apollo to the Moon!

Meeting the challenge

Repeating the feat

Driving on the Moon

Heading for the hills

Apollo lunar mission chronology

Russia’s secret manned Moon programme

What did we learn from Apollo?

Lunar exploration since Apollo

The international Moon fleet

Exploring the Apollo landing sites 1

Exploring the Apollo landing sites 2

Exploring the Moon on stamps

Background image:
The waning crescent Moon.
(European Southern Observatory)

Text © Ian Ridpath

These pages support Ian’s talk on Exploring the Moon
Map of lunar landings

This map shows touchdown or impact points of the Soviet Luna 2, Luna 9, Luna 13, Luna 16, Luna 17, Luna 20, Luna 21, and Luna 24 probes; US Surveyor 1, Surveyor 3, Surveyor 5, Surveyor 6, and Surveyor 7; and the Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 missions. Click on the map for a larger version.


3,475 km = 2,159 miles (0.27 times Earth)
Distance from Earth
384,400 km = 238,900 miles
Time to orbit Earth
27.3 days
Time to spin on axis
27.3 days
0.0123 times that of Earth (81 times less)
Average density
3.3 times water
Surface gravity
One-sixth that of Earth