Moon landing: 60 years since first Luna 2 spacecraft crashed into the Moon

Last updated at 13:23
Archive image of Luna 2 spacecraftGetty Images
Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon

It's been 60 years since the first spacecraft landed on the Moon, and as no technology to slow the rocket down had been invented, it simply crash-landed into the surface with a bang!

The Russian spacecraft, known as Lunik II, Luna II, and Lunar Probe, set off on its mission to the Moon on the 12 September 1959.

The rocket followed a direct path to the Moon and landed two days later on 14 September.

60 years later this may seem like a small step for space exploration, but the crash landing was a hugely important moment in human history. Luna 2 was the first human-made object to make contact with an object outside of our planet.

However, Luna 2 wasn't the first attempt at launching a spacecraft to the moon. There had been four failed attempts leading up to this momentous mission.

Since this small craft got to the moon's surface there have been quite a few other important moon landing that have made headlines, so check out our list of Moon milestones....

First man to walk on the Moon
Archive image of Neil Armstrong on the moonNASA
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon

"One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind" - this is probably one of the most famous things anyone has ever said. Neil Armstrong made the momentous remarks as he stepped out of the landing craft to become the first human to walk on the Moon.

This incredible moment in history happened on the 20 July in 1969, when America sent Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space, aboard the Apollo 11 mission.

Armstrong's first steps on the Moon were broadcast live on television across the world.

First controlled Moon landing
Luna 9 archive imageGetty Images
Luna 9 made it possible for future astronauts to go to the Moon

Russia made the first controlled landing on the Moon on 13 March 1966, which is also known as the first "soft landing".

The spacecraft was called 'Luna 9' and was sent to the Moon with the aim of discovering more information about the Moon's surface.

The probe sent nine images over three days after it landed, which were published world-wide.

This information played a big part in helping send astronauts to the Moon as scientists learnt that the Moon's surface was firm, so astronauts - and their landing craft - could stand on it rather than sink into the surface.

First Lunar Rover
Image of lunar rover on the moonGetty Images
The first lunar rover was aboard the Apollo 15 spacecraft

The first Lunar Rover was used during the Apollo 15 mission on the 31 July 1971.

A space rover is a vehicle which travels along the surface of the Moon and is equipped with tools to perform various experiments by itself.

The first rover had four-wheels and was battery-powered. Since then, technology has advanced and many Moon rovers have landed on the Moon. They've collected hugely important material for scientists to study back on Earth.

First time on the 'dark side' of the Moon
lunar rover on the dark side of the moonGetty Images
China is joining in the global space race

More recently, China has sent a space rover to the 'dark side' of the Moon. This is the first time humans have been to that side of the Moon.

The 'dark side' of the Moon , which is also referred to as the far side, is the part of the Moon that is not facing Earth.

The rover was called Chang'e-4 and carried instruments to analyse the unexplored surface in more detail, as well as carrying out biological experiments to help us understand the formation of the Moon.