Excursions by Amit Gawande

Recent partial failure of the Indian lunar exploration mission — communication loss with the lander Vikram — made me think how crowded the surface of moon must be.

There have been many such hard and soft landings and crashes on the surface of the moon since way before as part of numerous attempted Moon exploration missions, 137 to be precise. And there is a huge list of artifical” objects that we have magaed to send on the way to the surface of the Moon. Boy, so much to grasp there. Especially dates. Just look at the first entry on there - Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, and the first human-made object to make contact with another celestial body”. We, as species, complete 60 years of that achievement today. Fascinating!

Humans have left over 187,400 kilograms (413,100 lb) of material on the Moon, and 380 kilograms (838 lb) of Moon rock was brought back to Earth by Apollo and Luna missions. The only artificial objects on the Moon that are still in use are the retroreflectors for the lunar laser ranging experiments left there by the Apollo 11, 14 and 15 astronauts, and by the Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2 missions.

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