List of artificial objects on the Moon

From Academic Kids

Artificial objects on the Moon that are currently in use are retroreflectors (Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment).

The following table is a partial list of artificial objects on the surface of the Moon. They have been abandoned after having served their purpose. The list does not include smaller objects such as the retroreflectors.

Five third stages of rockets of the Apollo program form the heaviest pieces.

Man-made object Nationality Launched Mass (kg) Location
Luna 2 USSR 1959 390.2 29.1 N - 0 W
Ranger 4 United States 1962 331 12.9 S - 129.1 W
Ranger 6 United States 1964 381 9.4 N - 21.5 E
Ranger 7 United States 1964 365.7 10.6 S - 20.61 W
Luna 5 USSR 1965 1474 1.6 S - 25 W
Luna 7 USSR 1965 1504 9.8 N - 47.8 W
Luna 8 USSR 1965 1550 9.6 N - 62 W
Ranger 8 United States 1965 367 2.64 N - 24.77 E
Ranger 9 United States 1965 367 12.79 S - 2.36 W
Luna 9 USSR 1966 1580 7.13 N - 64.37 W
Luna 10 (1) USSR 1966 1600  ?
Luna 11 (1) USSR 1966 1640  ?
Luna 12 (1) USSR 1966 1670  ?
Luna 13 USSR 1966 1700 18.87 N - 63.05 W
Surveyor 1 United States 1966 270 2.45 S - 43.22 W
Lunar Orbiter 1 United States 1966 386 6.35 N - 160.72 E
Surveyor 2 United States 1966 292 4.0 S - 11.0 W
Lunar Orbiter 2 United States 1966 385 2.9 N - 119.1 E
Lunar Orbiter 3 United States 1966 386 14.6 N - 97.7 W
Surveyor 3 United States 1967 281 2.99 S - 23.34 W
Lunar Orbiter 4 (1) United States 1967 386  ?
Surveyor 4 United States 1967 283 0.45 N - 1.39 W
Explorer 35 (IMP-E) (1) United States 1967 104.3  ?
Lunar Orbiter 5 United States 1967 386 2.8 S - 83.1 W
Surveyor 5 United States 1967 281 1.42 N - 23.2 E
Surveyor 6 United States 1967 282 0.53 N - 1.4 W
Surveyor 7 United States 1967 290 40.86 S - 11.47 W
Luna 14 (1) USSR 1968 1670  ?
Apollo 10 LM descent stage (1) United States 1969 2211  ?
Luna 15 USSR 1969 2718  ?
Apollo 11 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1969 2184  ?
Apollo 11 LM descent stage United States 1969 2034 0 40' 26.69" N 23 28' 22.69" E
Apollo 12 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1969 2164 3.94 S - 21.2 W
Apollo 12 LM descent stage United States 1969 2211 2.99 S - 23.34 W
Luna 16 descent stage (3) USSR 1970 < 5727 0.68 S - 56.3 E
Luna 17 & Lunokhod 1 USSR 1970 5600 38.28 N - 35.0 W
Apollo 13 SIVB (S-IVB-508) United States 1970 13454 2.75 S - 27.86 W
Luna 18 USSR 1971 5600 3.57 N - 56.5 E
Luna 19 (1) USSR 1971 5600  ?
Apollo 14 SIVB (S-IVB-509) United States 1971 14016 8.09 S - 26.02 W
Apollo 14 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1971 2132 3.42 S - 29.67 W
Apollo 14 LM descent stage United States 1971 2144 3 38' 43.08" S - 17 28' 16.90" W
Apollo 15 SIVB (S-IVB-510) United States 1971 14036 1.51 S - 17.48 W
Apollo 15 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1971 2132 26.36 N - 0.25 E
Apollo 15 LM descent stage United States 1971 2809 26 7' 55.99" N - 3 38' 1.90" E
Apollo 15 Lunar Rover United States 1971 462 26.08 N - 3.66 E
Apollo 15 subsatellite (1) United States 1971 36  ?
Luna 20 descent stage (3) USSR 1972 < 5727 3.53 N - 56.55 E
Apollo 16 SIVB (S-IVB-511) United States 1972 14002 1.3 N - 23.9 W
Apollo 16 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1972 2138  ?
Apollo 16 LM descent stage United States 1972 2765 8 58' 22.84" S - 15 30' 0.68" E
Apollo 16 subsatellite (1) United States 1972 36  ?
Apollo 16 Lunar Rover United States 1972 462 8.97 S - 15.51 W
Apollo 17 SIVB (S-IVB-512) United States 1972 13960 4.21 S - 22.31 W
Apollo 17 LM ascent stage (2) United States 1972 2150 19.96 N - 30.50 E
Apollo 17 LM descent stage United States 1972 2798 20 11' 26.88" N - 30 46' 18.05" E
Apollo 17 Lunar Rover United States 1972 462 20.17 N - 30.77 W
Luna 21 & Lunokhod 2 (4) USSR 1973 4850 25.85 N - 30.45 E
Explorer 49 (RAE-B) (1) United States 1973 328  ?
Luna 22 (1) USSR 1974 4000  ?
Luna 23 USSR 1974 5600 ~12 N - ~62 E
Luna 24 descent stage (3) USSR 1976 < 5800 12.75 N - 62.2 E
Hiten Orbiter (Hagoromo) (5) Japan 1990 12  ?
Hiten Japan 1993 143 34.3 S - 55.6 E
Lunar Prospector United States 1998 126 87.7 S - 42.1 E
Total estimated dry mass 170,653

Notes

  1. Spacecraft was in lunar orbit but is assumed to have decayed from orbit and crashed into the moon, location unknown.
  2. The ascent stage of Apollo 10 was commanded to fire its engine, left lunar orbit and entered solar orbit. The ascent stage of Apollo 11 was left in orbit. Its orbit decayed and it crashed onto the moon, location unknown. The Apollo 16 ascent stage failed to crash into moon when commanded. It decayed from orbit at a later date and also crashed at an unknown location. The ascent stages of the remaining sucessful missions were each crashed onto the moon deliberately (Apollo 12, 14, 15, 17). Apollo 13's complete Apollo Lunar Module burned up in Earth's atmosphere having served as a lifeboat during the aborted mission.
  3. Luna program sample return mission; mass listed is for both ascent and descent stages, though only the descent stage was left on the moon
  4. Lander and rover weighed 1814 kg; the rest assumed to have decayed in orbit and impacted the moon
  5. Was ejected into lunar orbit in 1990, assumed to have decayed from orbit.

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