Back in 2017 when I started my MoonWalk , I expected to consider modifying my route to add in several landings taking place after my start. Turns out I added only one: CSNA’s (China) Chang-e 5.

In April 2019 SpaceIL’s (Israel) Beresheet crashed.

In September 2019 ISRO’s (India) Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander crashed.

Those were the only attempts during the MoonWalk other than CSNA’s Chang-e 4 on the far side, successful but too far to walk to. Others that had been anticipated were delayed.

After the end of the MoonWalk, in November 2022 JAXA’s (Japan) OMOTENASHI failed en route to a planned semi-hard landing.

In April 2023 ispace’s (Japan) Hakuto-R crashed.

Just four days ago, Roscosmos’s (Russia) Luna-25 crashed.

Space is hard.

So congratulations today to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on their Chandrayaan-3 mission’s success in putting the Vikram lander on the lunar surface. It touched down at 6:02 pm IST in the lunar south pole region. (At latitude 69.47°S, if my math is right, it’s about 625 km from the pole. For comparison, my southernmost MoonWalk destination was Surveyor 7 at about 40.86°S.) It’ll be deploying a rover. Both have an expected mission life of about 14 days, until lunar night.

In 2017 I thought Japan’s SLIM and an Astrobotic Technology mission might fly before I was done. They’re still not up there, but are expected to launch later this year, as is Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission. There’s a lot of lunar missions scheduled for 2024 including landings by Intuitive Machines, CSNA, Firefly Aerospace, Astrobotic, and ispace. As for how many will actually launch that year, and how many of those will successfully land, we’ll see.