Timeline of the Earth's Moon

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4.5Bil BP    Our moon formed about this time when an iron-rich, Mars-sized planet or asteroid plowed into Earth while it was forming. Much of the iron ended up in the Earth’s core, whereas the cloud of dust ejected from the impact consolidated into the moon.
    (PacDis, Winter ’97, p.28)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.81)

3.9 Billion BP    Meteorites reached Earth after being ejected from the Moon from the impact of massive unknown objects at about this time.
    (SFC, 12/1/00, p.A21)

160Mil BC    A collision likely occurred in the asteroid belt orbiting the sun about 100 million miles from Earth. One of these asteroids was later named Baptistina. In 2007 US and Czech researchers used computer simulations to calculate that there was a 90 percent probability that the collision of two asteroids, one about 105 miles wide and one about 40 miles wide, was the event that precipitated the Earthly disaster of 65Mil BC, when an asteroid hit the Earth on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. They said another fragment likely created the Tycho crater on the moon at about 110Mil BC.
    (Reuters, 9/5/07)(SFC, 9/6/07, p.A14)(Econ, 9/8/07, p.81)

1178        Jun 18, 5 Canterbury monks reported an explosion on moon (only known observation). This is the proposed time of origin of lunar crater Giordano Bruno.
    (MC, 6/18/02)

1609        Aug 25, Galileo demonstrated his 1st telescope to Venetian lawmakers. Galileo Galilei had improved the newly invented telescope and pointed it at the moon.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.200)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.12)

1609        Nov 30, Galileo began observing the moon with his perspicullum from Padua, Italy.
    (CW, Spring ‘99, p.34)

1610        Mar 13, Galileo published his observations of the night sky under the title “Siderius Nuncius" (Starry Messenger).
    (CW, Spring ‘99, p.36)

1835        The New York Sun hired Richard Adams Locke, a Briton, as editor. He soon wrote an anonymous series about a new telescope and observations of the moon that included the mention of vast forests, fields of poppies and lunar animals. Circulation soared to 19,360. In 840 he admitted to writing the moon hoax series. In 2008 Matthew Goodman authored “the Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York."
    (WSJ, 11/7/08, p.A15)

1840        Mar 23, Draper took 1st successful photo of the Moon (daguerreotype).
    (SS, 3/23/02)

1865        Jules Verne published his book: “From the Earth to the Moon."
    (SFEC, 4/19/98, Par p.10)

1892        Chicago businessman Charles Tyson Yerkes gave $300,000 to fund the wolrd’s largest telescope. A crater on the moon was later named after him.
    (Econ, 12/20/14, p.74)

1919        May 29, An eclipse occurred that was photographed by two British expeditions, one in Africa and the other in Brazil. It was found that pictures of the stars surrounding the sun were slightly shifted in the radial direction, in complete agreement with the prediction of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The play “Rose Tattoo" by Tennessee (Thomas Lanier) Williams was originally titled “The Eclipse of May 29, 1919."
    (SCTS, p.29)(SFC, 10/12/96, p.E3)
1919        May 29, Arthur Eddington, a British astronomer, mounted an expedition to Sobral, Brazil, to watch an eclipse and gather data to verify Einstein's theory of relativity. Though his results were ambiguous he claimed triumph. In 1980 Harry Colling and Trevor Pinch published "The Golem," an account of the expedition.
    (WSJ, 8/11/99, p.A18)

1930        Aug 5, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Ohio.
    (HN, 8/5/98)

1934        Aug 24, In Philadelphia, Pa., Philo T. Farnsworth (28), a San Francisco scientist, produced a televised picture of the moon, the first recorded use of television in astronomy.
    (SSFC, 8/16/09, p.46)

1946        Jan 10, The first manmade contact with the moon was made as the US Army bounced radar signals off the lunar surface from Belmar, NJ.
    (www.infoage.org/nyt-01-25-1946p1.html)(AP, 1/10/06)

1949        Ralph B. Baldwin (b.1912), American astronomer, authored “The Face of the Moon," in which he detailed how the moon’s craters were caused by meteor impacts rather than volcanic action as previously believed.

1954        Maurice Allais, French economist, recorded the movement of a pendulum for 30 days during which the moon eclipsed the sun and caused the pendulum to move a bit faster. The “Allais effect" confounded physicists and indicated a possible flaw in General Relativity.
    (Econ, 8/21/04, p.65)

1967        Oct 10, The Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits the placing of weapons of mass destruction on the moon or elsewhere in space, entered into force.
    (AP, 10/10/07)

1958        Mar 27, The U.S. announced a plan to explore space near the moon.
    (HN, 3/27/98)

1958        Aug 17, World's 1st Moon probe, US's Thor-Able, exploded at T +77 sec.
    (SC, 8/17/02)

1958        Oct 11, The lunar probe Pioneer 1 was launched; it failed to go as far as planned, fell back to Earth, and burned up in the atmosphere.
    (AP, 10/11/97)

1958        Wernher von Braun, German-born rocket scientist, authored “First Men to the Moon."
    (Econ, 7/2/11, p.7)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun)
1958        Leonard Reiffel began a classified study on the benefits and effects of a nuclear explosion on the moon sponsored by a US Air Force special weapons center.
    (SFC, 5/16/00, p.A7)

1961        May 25, President Kennedy summoned a joint session of Congress and asked the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In 2011 John Logsdon authored “John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon."
    (AP, 5/25/97)(Econ, 5/21/11, p.36)

1962        Jan 26, The United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon, but the probe missed its target by some 22,000 miles.
    (AP, 1/26/98)

1962        Feb 5, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn aligned within a 16 degree arc.
    (MC, 2/5/02)

1962        Apr 25, U.S. Ranger spacecraft crash landed on the Moon.
    (HN, 4/25/98)

1962        May 9, A laser beam was successfully bounced off Moon for the first time.
    (HN, 5/9/98)

1964        Jan 30, The United States launched Ranger 6 from Cape Canaveral. It was an unmanned spacecraft carrying six television cameras that was to crash-land on the moon.
    (AP, 1/30/98)(HN, 1/30/99)

1964        Jul 28, Ranger 7 was launched toward the Moon. It sent back 4308 TV pictures.
    (SC, 7/28/02)

1964        Jul 31, The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.
    (AP, 7/31/97)

1965        Mar 21, The U.S. launched Ranger 9, last in a series of lunar explorations.
    (HN, 3/21/98)

1965        Mar 24, US Ranger 9 struck the Moon, 10 miles (16 km) NE of crater Alphonsus.
    (MC, 3/24/02)

1965        May 1, USSR launched Luna 5; later lands on Moon.
    (MC, 5/1/02)

1966        Jan 31, The Soviets launched Luna 9, the first spacecraft to land softly on the moon.
    (HC, 2003, p.64)

1966        Feb 3, The Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.
    (AP, 2/3/08)

1966        Jun 2, The U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon in Oceanus Procellarum and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.
    (AP, 6/2/97)(SC, 6/2/02)

1966        Sep 20, Nasa's Centaur upper rocket stage successfully propelled the Surveyor 2 lander to the moon before it was discarded. The lander ended up crashing into the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite on the way there. The rocket, meanwhile, swept past the moon and into orbit around the sun as intended junk. In 2020 it was identified as asteroid 2020 SO.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_2)(AP, 10/11/20)

1966        Oct 22, The Soviet Union launched Luna 12 for orbit around the moon.
    (HN, 10/22/98)

1966        Dec 24, Soviet research station Luna 13 soft-landed on the moon.
    (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1966        Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) published his novel “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." His setting was a penal colony on the moon in 2075.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.383)(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.W8)

1967        Jan 27, The US signed the Outer Space Treaty with Russia. More than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons. All weapons of mass destruction were banned from orbit, as was military activity on the moon and other celestial bodies.
    (SFC, 1/28/67, p.A1)(AP, 1/27/98)(SSFC, 7/15/07, p.D1)

1967        May 19, The Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the United States and Britain banning nuclear weapons from outer space: “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies." The Int’l. Outer Space Treaty barred nations from appropriating celestial bodies but did not mention individuals.
    (AP, 5/19/97)(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A15)(SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.8)

1967        Nov 17, Surveyor 6 made a six-second flight on moon, the first lift off on lunar surface.
    (HN, 11/17/98)

1967        Surveyor 5 landed on the moon at the Sea of Tranquility with an alpha-scattering spectrometer to analyze the surface elements. The device was made by Prof. Anthony L. Turkevich (1916-2002).
    (SFC, 9/23/02, p.B5)

1968        Jan 9, The Surveyor VII space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.
    (AP, 1/9/99)

1968        Jan 22, Apollo 5 was launched to the Moon from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1968        Sep, The Soviet spacecraft Zond (“Probe") 5 became the first to loop around the moon and return to Earth. The L-1, given the name Zond, was a spacecraft designed to carry two cosmonauts on a single loop around the moon. The L-1 suffered repeated failure and never flew with a crew. The unmanned L-1s traveled to the moon five times under the Zond name.
    (HNQ, 4/27/99)

1968        Oct 11, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.
    (AP, 10/11/97)

1968        Nov 18, Soviets recovered the Zond 6 spacecraft after a flight around the moon.
    (HN, 11/18/98)

1968        Dec 21, Apollo 8 with astronauts Borman, Lovell & Anders was launched on the 1st mission to orbit the moon.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8)

1968        Dec 24, The 3 Apollo 8 astronauts (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman), orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast. The first pictures of an Earth-rise over the Moon are seen as the crew of Apollo 8 orbits the moon.
    (TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)(MC, 12/24/01)

1968        Dec 27, Apollo 8 and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
    (AP, 12/27/97)

1969        Mar 3, Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module.
    (AP, 3/3/98)

1969        May 22, The lunar module of Apollo 10 separated from the command module and flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
    (AP, 5/22/97)

1969        Jul 16, Apollo XI set out from Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy), Florida, with Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.182, 341)(AP, 7/16/97)

1969        Jul 19, Apollo 11 and its astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, went into orbit around the moon. The Apollo 11 lunar lander engine was built by TRW.
    (AP, 7/19/99)(F, 10/7/96, p.71)

1969        Jul 20, Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin made the first successful landing of a manned vehicle on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility when they touched down in Apollo 11. Armstrong stepped down from the ladder of the landing module Eagle to become the first man ever to walk on the moon. The two astronauts explored the moon's surface for 2 1/2 hours, with amazed TV audiences looking on. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments and his contributions to the space program. Edwin Aldrin became the second man to step foot on the moon shortly after Neil Armstrong hopped off the lunar lander Eagle at 10:56 p.m. Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon for about two hours during their 22-hour lunar stay. Thomas Kelly (d.2002 at 72) was the engineer who had overseen the building of the lunar module. In 2009 Buzz Aldrin authored “Magnificent desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon."
    (AP, 7/20/97)(HNPD, 7/20/98)(HNQ, 9/14/00)(SFC, 3/29/02, p.A24)(Econ, 7/18/09, p.82)

1969        Jul 21, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the lunar module.
    (AP, 7/21/99)

1969        Nov 14, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.
    (AP, 11/14/97)

1969        Nov 19, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made man's second landing on the moon. The second manned craft to land on the moon was the lunar module Intrepid. It landed on the lunar surface at 1:54 a.m. Intrepid landed 500 feet from the Surveyor 3 spacecraft. It spent 31 hours on the moon and docked with command module Yankee Clipper on November 20 and splashed down in the Pacific on November 24.
    (AP, 11/19/97)(HN, 11/19/98)(HNQ, 7/19/99)

1969        Nov 24, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific, ending the second manned mission to the moon.
    (AP, 11/24/97)

1970        Apr 11, Apollo 13 blasted off on a mission to the moon, commanded by Jim Lovell. The mission was disrupted on April 13, when an oxygen tank ruptured and crippled the spacecraft. The astronauts managed to return safely on April 17.
    (AP, 4/11/97)(AWAM, Dec. 94, p.79)(SFC, 4/10/20, p.A3)

1970        Sep 12, The Soviet Union launched its unmanned Soviet Luna 16. It was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample to Earth.

1970        Sep 20, The Soviet Luna 16 landed on Moon’s Mare Fecunditatis and drilled a core sample.

1970        Sep 24, The Soviet Luna 16 landed in Kazakhstan, completing the first unmanned round trip to the moon.

1970        Nov 10, The Soviet Union launched Luna 17, an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, towards the moon.

1970        Nov 17, The Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon, the Lunokhod 1. The spacecraft which carried Lunokhod 1 was named Luna 17.
    (AP, 11/17/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_1)

1971        Jan 31, Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
    (AP, 1/31/98)

1971        Feb 5, Apollo 14 lander Antares landed on Moon. Astronauts Shepard & Mitchell walked on the moon.
    (http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apollo14.htm)(HN, 2/5/99)

1971        Feb 6, Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the Moon during the Apollo 14 mission.

1971        Jul 30, US Apollo 15 with astronauts Scott and Irwin landed at Mare Imbrium on the Moon.

1971        Jul 31, Apollo 15 astronauts (Dave Scott) took a drive on the moon in their land rover.
    (HN, 7/31/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_rover)

1972        Feb 26, Soviets recovered Luna 20 with a cargo of moon rocks.
    (HN, 2/26/98)

1972        Apr 16, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon.
    (AP, 4/16/97)

1972        Apr 20, The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.
    (AP, 4/20/97)

1972        Apr 21, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon with Boeing Lunar Rover #2.
    (AP, 4/21/97)

1972        Apr 27, Apollo 16 returned to Earth.

1972        Dec 7, America's last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 12:33 a.m. It landed on the moon December 11 at 3:15 p.m. and took a historic photo of the Earth that showed our "isolated blue planet."
    (AP, 12/7/97)(SFC, 3/13/98, p.A19)(HNQ, 7/21/99)

1972        Dec 11, Challenger, the Lunar Lander for Apollo 17, touched down on the Moon's surface. It was the last time that men visited the Moon. The last two men to walk on the surface of the moon were Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan. Cernan and Schmitt conducted the longest lunar exploration of the Apollo program (75 hours), driving the lunar rover about 36 kilometers (22 miles) in all, ranging as far as 7.37 kilometers (4.5 miles) from the lunar module Challenger and collecting some 243 pounds of soil and rock samples.
    (HNQ, 7/21/99)(HN, 12/11/99)

1972        Dec 13, Astronaut Gene Cernan climbed into his Lunar Lander on the Moon and prepared to lift-off. He was the last man to set foot on the Moon.
    (HN, 12/13/99)

1972        Dec 14, Astronauts Schmitt and Cernan blasted off from the moon to join the command module America in lunar orbit, thus ending America’s manned lunar exploration for the 20th century.
    (HNQ, 7/21/99)

1972        Dec 19, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1974        William K. Hartmann of the Planetary Science Inst. In Tucson, Arizona, presented research that proposed that the moon was formed from the remnants of a giant impact, wherein a planet about the size of Mars struck Earth. Alastair G.W. Cameron (1915-2005) of Harvard worked independently on the same idea.
    (SFC, 10/31/05, p.B4)

1976        Aug 22, A Soviet probe called Luna 4 brought back to Earth 170 grams of lunar matter. It was the third Soviet mission to return lunar soil samples from the Moon (the first two sample return missions were Luna 16 and Luna 20).
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_24)(Econ., 11/21/20, p.74)
1979        Dec 18, The "Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies" opened for signature. It extended a 1967 Space Treaty and established that the Moon and the other bodies within our solar system to be the common heritage of mankind. It entered into force on July 11, 1984.
    (SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.18)(www.islandone.org/Treaties/BH766.html)

1980-1996    Scientist over this period established that 12 meteorites in a worldwide collection had come from the moon. They are called SNCs ("snicks"), an abbreviation for the locations where they were discovered: Shergotty, India; Nakhla, Egypt; and Chassigny, France.
    (SFC, 9/1/96, p.A22)(PacDis, Winter ’97, p.30)

1989        Aug 16, A rare "prime time" lunar eclipse occurred over most of the United States, although clouds spoiled the view for many.
    (AP, 8/16/99)

1994        Jan 25, The United States launched Clementine I, an unmanned spacecraft that was to study the moon before it was "lost and gone forever."
    (AP, 1/25/99)

1996        Dec 2, Scientists disclosed that a suspected pond of ice was found in a deep crater of the moon. Astronomers of Cornell Univ. in 1997 wrote that they saw no evidence for ice on the moon.
    (SFC, 12/3/96, p.A2)(WSJ, 6/6/97, p.A1)

1997        Jun 25, It was reported that a man from Rio Vista, Ca., was doing a good business selling the moon’s real estate. Dennis Hope was charging $15.99 for 1,777 acres of lunar land plus tax and shipping.
    (SFC, 6/25/97, p.A15)

1997        Oct 24, The US Lunar Prospector was scheduled to take off and circle the moon for a year to look for minerals, ice, and to map the surface.
    (USAT, 8/29/97, p.12A)

1998        Jan 5[6], A NASA launch of the Lunar Prospector was the 3rd robot mission of the Discovery Program. Lunar orbit was expected by Jan 12.
    (SFEC, 1/4/98, p.A14)(SFC, 7/31/99, p.A2)

1998        Mar 5, NASA officials announced that the Lunar Prospector probe found the presence of water on the moon at the north and south poles. As much as 100 million tons of water was estimated. They said that the water frozen in the loose soil of the moon might support a lunar base and a human colony.
    (SFC, 3/6/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/6/98, p.A1)(AP, 3/5/99)

1999        Jul 31, NASA controllers planned to send the $63 million Lunar Prospector crashing into the Mawson crater located in the Moon’s south pole. They hoped to churn up some water vapor for possible detection. Evidence of the crash at 2:51 PDT was not detected.
    (SFC, 6/3/99, p.A4)(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.A3)

1999        The Japanese Institute of space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) planned to launch its Lunar-A to measure seismic activity on the Moon.
    (SFC, 7/4/98, p.A10)

2001        Dec 12, David Criswell, director of the Univ. of Houston Space Systems Operations, proposed a “Lunar Solar Power System" to collect solar energy on the moon, convert it to microwaves, and beam it to Earth for electrical power.
    (SFC, 12/13/01, p.A5)

2002        Nov 29, It was reported that TransOrbital Inc. had signed a $20 million contract with Kosmotras, Moscow’s int’l. space company, to use decommissioned ballistic missiles for commercial launches to the moon.
    (SFC, 11/29/02, p.K3)

2002        Jun, Moon rocks were stolen from a NASA safe. They were recovered in July at a hotel in Orlando, Fl. 4 men were later convicted and sentenced to prison terms. 3 young NASA employees, led by Thad Roberts (25) had stolen a quarter pound of moon rocks and tried selling them online to a Belgian collector, who alerted the FBI. In 2011 Ben Mezrich authored “Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History."
    (SSFC, 7/17/11, p.F5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_and_missing_moon_rocks)

2003        Sep 27, Europe's first mission to the moon blasted off aboard a European Ariane rocket from French Guiana. The SMART-1 probe made it to within 3,100 miles of the moon on Nov 15, 2004, and proceeded to move into an elliptical orbit. The spacecraft ended its mission Sep 3, 2006, when it crashed into the lunar surface.
    (AP, 9/28/03)(SFC, 11/17/04, p.A3)(SSFC, 9/3/06, p.A5)

2004        Jan 14, Pres. Bush proposed a new space program that would send humans back to the moon by 2015 and establish a base to Mars and beyond. Bush said he would seek $12 billion for the initial stages of the plan.
    (SFC, 1/15/04, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/15/04, p.A1)

2006        Sep 3, The SMART-1 spacecraft, Europe's first moon probe launched Sep 27, 2003, signed off its mission on schedule by crashing into the lunar surface, completing a project scientists hope will tell them more about the moon's origin.
    (Reuters, 9/3/06)(SSFC, 9/3/06, p.A5)

2007        Sep 13, The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million prize purse, so long as the task is completed by 2012.
    (www.googlelunarxprize.org/)(Econ, 9/15/07, p.100)

2007        Oct 5, Japan put its first satellite into orbit around the moon, placing the country a step ahead of China and India in an increasingly heated space race in Asia.
    (AP, 10/5/07)

2008        Oct 22, India launched its first mission to the moon, rocketing the Chandrayaan 1 satellite up into the pale dawn sky in a two-year mission to redraw maps of the lunar surface. On board was the Mono Mineralogy Mapper, a NASA spectroscope.
    (AP, 10/22/08)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.96)

2008        Nov 14, An Indian probe landed on the moon, in a milestone for the country's 45-year-old space program.
    (AFP, 11/14/08)

2009        Mar 1, China's lunar probe,  the Chang'e-1, named for a moon goddess, ended its 16-month life with a planned crash into the moon.
    (Reuters, 3/1/09)

2009        Jun 18, NASA launched its Lunar Crater Observation and sensing Satellite (LCROSS). The Mission Objectives LCROSS included confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole.
    (AP, 6/18/09)(http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/)

2009        Aug 28, India's first moon mission, launched amid much fanfare in 2008, came to an abrupt end after the country's lunar craft lost contact with its controllers. The satellite was launched on October 22 and then fired a TV-set-sized probe painted in the green, white and orange colors of the Indian flag which landed on the moon on November 14.
    (AFP, 8/29/09)

2009        Sep 8, A review committee on NASA, led by Norman Augustine, delivered a summary report saying the agency does not have enough money to return to the moon. The Augustine report also said that NASA should stop traveling to the Int’l. Space Station and to low Earth orbit in general, leaving these to the private sector.
    (Econ, 9/12/09, p.87)

2009        Sep 29, China said it has completed a high-resolution, three-dimensional map of the entire surface of the moon, in an important step towards a future lunar landing.
    (AP, 9/29/09)

2009        Oct 9, NASA smacked two spacecraft into the lunar south pole in a search for hidden ice. Instruments confirm that a large empty rocket hull barreled into the moon at 7:31 a.m., followed four minutes later by a probe with cameras taking pictures of the first crash.
    (AP, 10/9/09)

2009        Nov 13, NASA said a "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.
    (AFP, 11/13/09)

2010        Feb 1,  NASA’s back-to-the-moon program, Constellation, fell victim to budget cuts.
    (Econ, 2/6/10, p.86)

2010        Oct 1, China launched its second lunar exploration probe, boosting the country's efforts to rise as a major space power eventually capable of landing a man on the moon and perhaps one day exploring far beyond.
    (Reuters, 10/1/10)

2011        Sep 10, NASA launched 2 near identical probes, named Grail-A and Grail-B, aboard a relatively small Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fl. The pair rocketed toward the moon on the first mission dedicated to measuring lunar gravity and determining what's inside Earth's orbiting companion, all the way down to the core.
    (AP, 9/10/11)

2011        Dec 31, A NASA spacecraft, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, slipped into orbit around the moon. A 2nd Grail probe was expected to enter orbit the next day. Both were launched last September aboard the same rocket to measure lunar gravity.
    (SSFC, 1/1/12, p.A10)

2012        May 20, An annular eclipse was visible in western US states from California to Texas. Visibility came to parts of China, Taiwan and Japan May 21 local time. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, but is too far from the Earth to block it out completely, leaving the "ring of fire" visible.
    (AFP, 5/21/12)

2012        Dec 17, NASA space probes EBB and Flow expired as they crashed into a lunar mountainside. They were initially named “GRAIL A" and “GRAIL B," but were renamed by a class of schoolchildren in Bozeman, Montana.
    (Econ, 12/22/12, p.124)

2013        Mar 17, A boulder slammed into the Moon, creating the biggest explosion scientists have seen there since they started monitoring it.
    (Reuters, 5/17/13)

2013        Sep 7, NASA launched the unmanned LADEE spacecraft from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. It aimed to study the Moon's atmosphere was the US space agency's third lunar probe in five years.
    (AP, 9/7/13)(SSFC, 9/8/13, p.A8)

2013        Dec 2, China launched Chang’e-3, its first moon rover mission, the latest step in an ambitious space program seen as a symbol of its rising global stature.
    (AFP, 12/2/13)(Econ, 12/7/13, p.82)

2014        Nov 1, China successfully recovered an experimental spacecraft that flew around the moon and back in a test run for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. The eight-day trip marked the first time in almost four decades that a spacecraft has returned to Earth after traveling around the moon.
    (AP, 11/1/14)

2016        Jul 18, NASA officials said Taiwan is building a $47 million lunar lander as part of the first ever moon-mining project. Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) will build the lander. The NASA project Resource Prospector and aims to be the first mining expedition on another world.
    (AP, 7/18/16)

2016        Aug 3, China's state media reported that the Jade Rabbit lunar rover, which won a large following on social media, has been retired after a record 31 months of collecting data from the moon's surface. China’s rover arrived on the moon on Dec. 14, 2013, aboard the Chang'e 3 lunar lander and was designed to operate for just three months.
    (AP, 8/3/16)

2018        Jan 31, The moon put on a rare cosmic show: a red blue moon, super big and super bright. It's the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon because of its red hue.
    (AP, 1/31/18)

2018        Dec 8, China launched a Long March 3B rocket carrying a lunar probe from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. It hoped to land the spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon.
    (AP, 12/8/18)

2019        Jan 3, A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the "soft landing" and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the far side of the moon.
    (Reuters, 1/3/19)

2019        Jan 4, China's Jade Rabbit 2 space rover explored the lunar terrain in the world's first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon.
    (AP, 1/4/19)

2019        Feb 21, A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lanched from Cape Canaveral carried a communications satellite for Indonesia and a lunar lander for Israel. The lunar lander was expected to touch down on the Sea of Serenity on April 11.
    (SFC, 2/23/19, p.A4)

2019        Apr 11, An Israeli spacecraft crashed into the moon just moments before touchdown, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar landing. It had been hoped that the small robotic spacecraft, built by the nonprofit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, would match a feat that has been achieved only by US, Russia and China.
    (AP, 4/12/19)

2019        Jul 22, India launched a rocket into space in an attempt to safely land a rover on the moon, its most ambitious mission yet in the effort to establish itself as a low-cost space power.
    (Reuters, 7/22/19)

2019        Sep 7, India's space agency lost contact with a spacecraft it was trying to land on the moon, in a setback for the nation's ambitious plans to become the first country to probe the unexplored lunar south pole. Communication was lost just as it was about to touch down.
    (Reuters, 9/7/19)

2019        Sep 21, Australia's PM Scott Morrison said his country will invest A$150 million ($101 million) in its companies and technology to help US President Donald Trump's bid for a moon landing by 2024 and subsequent US missions to Mars.
    (Reuters, 9/21/19)

2020        Sep 25, Scientists reported that future moon explorers will be bombarded with two to three times more radiation than astronauts aboard the International Space Station, a health hazard that will require thick-walled shelters for protection. China’s lander on the far side of the moon is providing the first full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface.
    (AP, 9/26/20)

2020        Oct 26, Scientists said that lunar water is more widespread than previously known, with water molecules trapped within mineral grains on the surface and more water perhaps hidden in ice patches residing in permanent shadows.
    (Reuters, 10/26/20)

2020        Nov 24, China's Chang'e 5 mission to the moon began as the four modules of the spacecraft blasted off atop a massive Long March-5Y rocket from the Wenchang launch center on Hainan island. The mission’s main task is to drill 2 meters (about 7 feet) into the moon’s surface and scoop up about 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of rocks and other debris.
    (AP, 11/24/20)

2020        Dec 1, China landed a robotic spacecraft on the moon to collect rocks and dirt. China would be the third nation to bring back lunar samples, after the US and the former Soviet Union. The spacecraft, Chang’e-5, was the third successful uncrewed moon landing by China since 2013.
    (NY Times, 12/1/20)

2020        Dec 6, A Chinese probe that landed on the moon transferred 4.4 pounds of rocks to an orbiter in preparation for returning samples to Earth.
    (SFC, 12/7/20, p.A2)

2020        Dec 17, A Chinese capsule returned to Earth landing in Inner Mongolia with about 4.4 pounds of fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon.
    (SFC, 12/17/20, p.A2)

2075        In 1966 Robert Heinlein set his sci-fi novel “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" at a penal colony on the moon in this year.
    (WSJ, 4/18/09, p.W8)

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