Moon Exploration History: How Many Men Have Walked on the Moon?

Moon Exploration

Soon enough, NASA will return men to the Moon for the first time since 1972. But how many men have walked on the Moon before the Apollo program was closed? Moon exploration is one of the most striking events when it comes to going to space. Starting in 1969 and until 1972, the Apollo spacecraft was sent to our satellite six times. The first person on the Moon was Neil Armstrong. Upon doing his Moon walk, this man made his famous “giant leap for mankind” commentary.

The first men to walk on our natural satellite’s surface were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. These men stayed on the Moon for 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 40 seconds. During this time, they installed a US flag and research equipment there. They also gathered about 22 kg of soil samples from the lunar surface, so scientists back on Earth could study it.

How many men have walked on the Moon?

A total of twelve men have walked on our natural satellite’s surface. After Apollo 12, there were four other successful lunar missions. These missions completed all the tasks assigned to them on the surface. Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard from Apollo 14 were 5th and 6th men to have landed on our natural satellite. Apollo 15 was the mission that gave David Scott a chance to land on the Moon, too. Next, there was also Apollo 16 mission, with Charles Duke, James Irwin, and John Young. Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan were part of the Apollo 17 mission. 

There’s no other country to have repeated USA’s Moon achievements. What’s interesting is that the US itself no longer made any lunar landings because those missions were too expensive and their scientific value too low. Some people believe that after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, there was nothing else to do there. And, possibly, they are right to believe so. Lunar exploration could still go on, but with robots instead of men.

How many times have men been to the Moon?

Moon Exploration

There were six lunar missions to land men on our satellite’s surface. They started in 1969 with Apollo 11. Back then, Neil Armstrong was the first person to do the Moon walk. Everyone had the intention to land Apollo 13, yet a spacecraft malfunction restricted their flyby. All crewed lunar missions came back to Earth safely, which is very good news and gives us hope for a better future in space exploration. The Artemis Program from NASA plans to put men back on the Moon — this time, including the first woman and the first person of colour as well.

According to Orbital Today, men’s missions to our natural satellite helped us learn a lot about space and our Solar System. Most astronauts were helped by Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRVs), which eventually led to more robotic missions than men trips. An LRV was first used for the Apollo 16 mission. This type of electric vehicle accompanied many men on their lunar missions, and humanity couldn’t have obtained that knowledge about space often without this tech.

When was the last time someone was on the Moon?

The last person on the Moon was Eugene Cernan, who had already been there before with the Apollo 10 mission. Back then, he walked on the Moon’s surface for over 22 hours. Cernan’s career started while he was a Navy trainee for basic flights. And he racked up many aircraft carrier landings. This prominent man also spent thousands of hours flying jet aircraft. In October 1963, he got an astronaut corps job at NASA. Cernan flew for the first time in space with Gemini 9. And ever since, he has completed many missions that have brought value to the space industry. 

But his last trip to the Moon was with Apollo 17 in 1972, when Harrison Schmitt joined him as well. Later, Cernan decided not to be involved in any shuttle program and remained to be a motivational speaker that sometimes spoke during ABC broadcasts. He passed on January 16, 2017.

How many countries have had a man walk on the Moon?

Up to this day, only American men have actually walked on the lunar surface. After all, it’s much more complicated to send men than unmanned spacecraft. There was a competition of robotic missions between the US and USSR going on until about 1976, and the USSR won when it came to the number of missions. Then Japan entered the race, followed by the ESA, India, and China. Israel is another country that sent a mission to the Moon back in 2019.

In other words, there are in total of seven countries that sent robotic missions to the Moon, but men only came from NASA. But by the end of this decade, this may well change, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and keep watching as more men and women land on the Moon!

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