1609: Thomas Harriot becomes the first person to use a telescope aimed at the sky and sketches the moon. Later he made the first maps of the moon.
1610: Galileo Galilei publishes scientific observations of the moon in Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger).
6 April 1919: Peary discover the North Pole.
1959-1976: The U.S.S.R.'s Luna program of 17 robotic missions achieves many "firsts" — including the first glimpse of the far side of the moon — and three sample returns.
1961-1968: The U.S. Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor robotic missions pave the way for Apollo human lunar landings.
1969: Astronaut Neil Armstrong is the first human to walk on the moon's surface.
1994-1999: Clementine and Lunar Prospector data suggest that water ice may exist at the lunar poles.
2003: The European Space Agency's SMART-1 lunar orbiter inventories key chemical elements.
2007-2008: Japan's second lunar spacecraft, Kaguya, and China's first lunar spacecraft, Chang'e 1, both begin one-year missions orbiting the moon; India's Chandrayaan-1 soon follows in lunar orbit.
2008: The NASA Lunar Science Institute is formed to help lead NASA's research activities related to lunar exploration goals.
2009: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS launch together, beginning the U.S. return to lunar exploration. In October, LCROSS was directed to impact a permanently shadowed region near the lunar south pole, resulting in the discovery of water ice. LRO is still exploring the moon from orbit.
2011: Twin GRAIL spacecraft launch to map the interior of the moon from crust to core, and NASA begins the ARTEMIS mission to study the moon's interior and surface composition.
2013: NASA launches LADEE to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere. The successful mission ended in April 2014.
14 December 2013: China becomes the third nation to safely land on the moon with the touchdown and deployment of Chang'e 3's Yutu rover.