The moon has long been a point of interest for humans, leading to the creation of many stories, rites, religious practices, and other factors that develop various cultures. Some people have even worshipped the moon; others believed (some still do) that it has a hold over certain aspects of our lives. Before astronauts go actually go to the moon, composers, poets, and philosophers were using it for inspiration and knowledge.
Until Galileo Galilei used a telescope to observe the rough and mountainous terrain of the moon, most believed that it was smooth—the light and dark parts were perceived to be land and water respectively. This was the opinion of the Greeks, while other cultures held their own beliefs.
With people being so invested in the moon and its mysteries, lunar exploration and lunar missions were probably inevitable as soon as mankind could come up with the viable technology. In the late 1950s and 1960s, there was the ‘Race to Space’ between the United States and the then-USSR. Before actual humans could walk on the moon, there were several other lunar missions that made impact with the moon, flew past it with living creatures, and made landings on its surface.
If we want to look at the moon by the numbers, the most significant and successful lunar missions are also worth knowing about. After all, the moon is the first foreign body where humans have walked. With these missions, humans are now able to get a better understanding of the moon as well as its potential for the future. Who knows, this might be the best location or human settlements other than Earth. It’s near our own planet and might have several sources of energy and other resources. Some even say that the Moon could be the answer to overpopulation or depletion of resources on Earth. In any case, the moon remains a prime focus for lunar missions to this day. Here is a summary of all the lunar missions that have been successful from the 1950s to the 2010s.