India’s Chandrayaan-2 ‘Vikram’ lander failed to touch base with the moon. Difficulties in landing missions have been evident in the fact that the success rate has been less than 50% for such missions.
This is unlike orbiter-only missions (with a success rate of 65.6%).
It took 12 lander-based moon missions for success to be achieved by the USSR in 1966 after its first launch in 1963. The U.S. began later but achieved success more quickly. Lunar missions were undertaken by China nearly four decades after the last one by the USSR in 1976.
- Luna 9 was the first lunar soft landing and first picture from the lunar surface.
- Lunokhod 1 was the first robotic rover to explore the surface of the moon.
- Chang’e 3 was the first non-Soviet rover on the Moon (Yutu); it was also the first rover after a gap of 40 years
Table shows the number of moon lander missions (includes landers, rovers and sample returns). The overall success rate is only 46.8%, only China’s has been 100%.
All of China’s seven moon missions (including landers) have been successful. The former USSR had the most missions.
It is to be noted that Israel's mission was funded by a private agency.
|Space agency||Total missions||Successful|
Table shows that the success rate is only 37.5% for Lander missions. Orbiter missions are the most common and they have an average success rate of 65.6%.