According to Kruschov's son, his father had agreed to accept John Kennedy's proposal of a joint USSR/USA program to reach the Moon, but Kennedy was assassinated before this could be formalised, and Lyndon Johnson never repeated the offer.
August 1958 Able 1 this proposed lunar probe exploded after 77 seconds of flight
Jan 1959 Lunik 1 an attempt to reach the moon, but it missed by about 6000 km. Both sides had had several launch failures prior to this.
Sept 1959 Lunik 2, the first probe to hit the Moon. It was tracked to the Moon by Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Britain, which was the only way to verify that it had actually reached the Moon (at one stage, both the USSR and America had been seriously considerinf exploding a nuclear bomb on the Moon to show that they had actually reached there). It actually hit the Moon at 07:30 GMT on 14. Sep. 1959, east of the Mare Serenitatis in region of the craters Aristides, Archimedes und Autolycus. Weight of Lunik 2 was 390,2 kg.
Oct 1959 Lunik 3 went into barycentric orbit , and sent back the first pictures of its dark side.
April 1962 Ranger 4, the first Ranger to hit the Moon (the previous three had failed for various reasons), but a computer failure meant that no scientific data was returned.
Feb 1964 Ranger 6, No images were returned because of a camera failure.
July 1964 Ranger 7, first 'succesful' Ranger mission - it transmitted pictures in the minutes leading up to its (planned) crash landing. A month later, the IAU named the area in which it landed Mare Cognitum.
Feb 1965 Ranger 8, Sea of Tranquility. As for Ranger 7, it transmitted pictures in the minutes leading up to its (planned) crash landing.
March 1965 Ranger 9, Alphonsus Crater. Likewise, as for Rangers 7 and 8, it transmitted pictures (which were shown on live TV) in the minutes leading up to its (planned) crash landing. This was a more scientific mission than previous Rangers which were more to do with research for space missions.
July 1965 Zond 3 Fly by mission. It was launched from an Earth orbiting platform towards the Moon. On July 20, during lunar flyby, 25 pictures of very good quality were taken of the lunar farside from distances of 11,570 to 9,960 kilometers, covering an area of 19 million square kilometers. After the lunar flyby, Zond 3 continued space exploration in a heliocentric orbit.
October 1965 Lunik 7 crashed (unplanned) in the Sea of Storms
December 1965 Lunik 8 also crashed (unplanned) in the Sea of Storms
Jan 1966 Lunik 9 the first soft-landing - in the Oceanus Procellarum. It transmitted television pictures from the Moon's surface, although Jodrell Bank managed to release the pictures before the Soviet Union themselves.
March 1966 Lunik 10 was the first probe to orbit the Moon. During its 57-day life Lunik 10 made 460 lunar orbits and transmitted 219 broadcast back to Earth. It was able to deduce that the surface was basaltic, by using a gamma ray spectrometer.
May/June 1966 Surveyor 1 the first soft-landing of an American probe. It landed near the Flamsteed crater in the Ocean of Storms. Produced the first color pictures from the surface.
August 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 413 photos of the surface
August 1966 Lunik 11 entered lunar orbit on 28 August
September 1966 Surveyor 2 Crashed on the Moon on 22 September 1966, southeast of Copernicus Crater. Its Vernier engine failed to ignite
October 1966 Lunik 12 entered lunar orbit on 25 October
November 1966 Lunar Orbiter 2 Apart from photographic survey, it carried out tests on lunar gravitation and micrometeorites, as well as radiation. Famously took photos of Copernicus.
February 1967 Lunar Orbiter 3 Re-examined various areas identified from the surveys of the previous two Orbiters as possible landing sites.
April 1967 Surveyor 3 Landed in the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms)
May 1967 Lunar Orbiter 4 The three previous missions having apparently identified landing sites, the mission of this probe was of a more fundamental scientific nature. Whereas thef first three Orbitors went into equatorial orbit, no 4 and 5 followed polar orbits.
July 1967 Surveyor 4 Lost communication 2.5 minutes from touchdown in the Sinus Medii
August 1967 Lunar Orbiter 5 Backed up material gathered from the first two missions.
September 1967 Surveyor 5 Landed in the Mare Tranquillitatus (Sea of Tranquility). Designed to scientically analyse the surface. It sent back 18,006 TV pictures. The surface was determined to be basalt (apparently similar to basalt found in Greenland).
November 1967 Surveyor 6 Landed in the Sinus Medii.
January 1968 Surveyor 7 Scientific mission (as opposed to a mission detected to future space missions). It was sent to the Tycho crater (North Rim).
March 1968 Zond 4 entered lunar orbit but had to be destroyed because of a technical error.
September 1968 Zond 5 Circumlunar - returned to Earth. All the animals on board survived.
November 1968 Zond 6 Circumlunar - it returned to earth but the landing went wrong, depressurizing and crashing, killing all the animals who were on board.
Dec 1968 Apollo 8
May 1969 Apollo 10
July 1969 Lunik 15 was launched three days before Apollo 11, on 13 July, and was designed to recover some moon rock robotically. It made 52 revolutions of the moon, but crash-landed on 21 July at 15h 51 UT in the Mare Crisium.
July 1969 Apollo 11, the first manned landing.
Nov 1969 Zond 7 Circumlunar - returning to Earth.
Nov 1969 Apollo 12
Sept 1970 Lunik 16 which did recover about 100 grams of moon rock (by this time, America had gathered several kilos). Landed in the Sea of Fertility
October 1970 Zond 8
Returned to Earth on 27 Oct 1970
Nov 1970 Lunik 17 deposited the moon rover Lunokhod, which functioned for about a year (it was only originally expected to last for about 3 months) It covered a distance of 10.540 m taking more than 20.000 pictures and over 200 Panoramas (photographing an area of over 80 000m2, as well as carrying out 500 soil probes.
Jan 1971 Apollo 14
July 1971 Apollo 15,
September 1971 Lunik 18 Was supposed to have brought lunar samples back to Earth, but it crashed in the Sea of Fertility
September 1971 Lunik 19 Went into orbit about the Moon and became the first probe to seriously carry out a photographic survey of the Moon.
February 1972 Lunik 20 It landed a mountainous area - the Apollonius-Highlands, about 120 km from where Luna 16 crashed. It took panoramic TV pictures from the landing site, and bore samples from the surface. A return stage took off on 22. February 1972 landing back in the USSR on 25. February 1972, with 30 kg of samples.
April 1972 Apollo 16,
Dec 1972 Apollo 17,
January 1973 Lunik 21 Carried Lunokhod 2, landing in the Crater LeMonnier. Lunokhod 2 was 135 cm tall, 170 cm long and 160 cm wide - it weighed 840 kg. It traveled at 1-2 km/h. Its eight wheels were each driven and braked independently from the other wheels. It travelled only during the lunar 'day', stopping occasionally to recharge its solar batteries. During the lunar 'night' (approximately 14 earth days long), it 'slept', its apparatus being kept warm by a Polonium 210 isotope battery. Lunokhod 2 operated for about four months, covered 37 km during this time and sent back 86 Panorama-Pictures as well as over 80.000 TV pictures. It carried instruments for measuring X-rays and Ultra-Violet radiation, as well as a Astrophotometer, a Magnetometer, a Photodetector and a Laser Reflector. The mission was officially brought to an end on 4. June 1973, although the Rover had possibly stopped functioning from the end of May.
May/June 1974 Lunik 22 Orbited the moon for 18 months, carrying out various experiments.
October/November 1974 Lunik 23 Heavily damaged by a crash in the Mare Crisium. It functioned for about three more days, but many of its instruments had already been disabled.
August 1976 Lunik 24 It landed on 18. August 1976 in the Mare Crisium, only a few hundred meters away from where Luna 23 came down. It was the third Soviet mission to bring test samples from the surface back to Earth - 170 grams was returned with the aid of a drill capable of boring down to 2 meters.
1994 Clementine Miltary mission which astronomers also made some use of (the science seems to have been used to mask the 'true' nature of the mission). It observed the polar regions especially which had not been investigated as much as the rest of the surface. It claimed that ice had been found in the bottom of some of these polar craters.
1998 Lunar Prospector Launced in January, by March it was officially announced that it had detected ice on the Moon, as had been suspected by Clementine. This ice had been detected at both the North and South poles. It was decided to test this theory by crashing Prospector into a lunar crater - this was done on 31 July 1999 but the results do not appear to be encouraging for the thoery.