DESTINATION MOON: A History of the Lunar Orbiter Program
 
APPENDIX C
 
[367-373] RECORD OF UNNANNED LUNAR PROBES, 1958-1968
 
 
 
I. United States
 
II. Soviet Union.
 
 

 
I. United States
 
 
Probe
Launch Date (local time)
Launch Site
Launch
Vehicle
Spacecraft
Weight (kg)
Mission Results

Pioneer I

Oct. 11, 1958

ETR

Thor-Able

38

Reached 113,783-km altitude before disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere Oct. 12; insufficient final velocity.

Pioneer III

Dec. 6, 1958

ETR

Juno II

6

Reached 102,322-km altitude before disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere Dec. 7; insufficient final velocity.

Pioneer IV

Mar. 3, 1959

ETR

Juno 11

6

Passed within 60,000 km of Moon and went into solar orbit.

Ranger I

Aug. 23, 1961

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

306

Disintegrated Aug. 30 on failure to achieve intended Earth orbit. Orbit too low.

Ranger II

Nov. 18, 1961

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

306

Disintegrated Nov. 18 after failing to achieve Earth orbit.

Ranger III

Jan. 26, 1962

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

330

Missed Moon by 36,790 km; went into solar orbit.

Ranger IV

Apr. 23, 1962

ETR

Atlas-Agena, B

331

Mission unsuccessful because camera equipment failed to function; faulty programmer First U.S. spacecraft to hit Moon.

Ranger V

Oct. 18, 1962

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

342

Mid-course correction failed; spacecraft missed Moon by 720 km, went into solar orbit.

Ranger VI

Jan. 30, 1964

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

365

Precise lunar impact. Photographic mission unsuccessful because premature turn-on caused camera failure.

Ranger VII

Jul. 28, 1964

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

366

Successfully sent back 4,316 high-resolution TV photos during last 13 min of flight be fore precise impact on Moon.

Ranger VIII

Feb. 17, 1965

ETR

Atlas-Agena, B

367

Transmitted 7,137 close-up TV photos of Moon before precise impact in Sea of Tranquility.

Ranger IX

Mar. 21, 1965

ETR

Atlas-Agena B

367

Transmitted 5,814 TV photos before precise impact in crater Alphonsus. First high-resolution photos of lunar crater.

Surveyor I

May 30, 1966

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

270

Softlanded on Moon; transmitted11,237 TV photos in 13 days; survived one lunar night.

Explorer XXXIII

(IMP-D)

Jul. 1, 1966

ETR

Thrust-augmented

Thor-Delta

93

Failed to achieve lunar orbit because of launch errors; remained in Earth orbit.

Lunar Orbiter

Aug. 10, 1966

ETR

Atlas-Agena D

386

Entered lunar orbit Aug. 14. Photographed Moon until Aug. 29, photographing all 9 primary and 7 potential Apollo sites, 11 areas on far side. Impacted Moon Oct. 29, 1966.

Surveyor II

Sep. 20, 1966

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

270

Vernier failed. Spacecraft crashed on Moon SE of crater Copernicus.

Lunar Orbiter II

Nov. 6, 1966

ETR

Atlas-Agena D

385

Returned 205 lunar frames, including 13 primary and 17 secondary Apollo sites. Impacted sur face of Moon Oct. 11, 1967.

Lunar Orbiter III

Feb. 4, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Agena D

386

Photographed Surveyor I on Moon, Returned 182 lunar frames. Impacted Moon Oct. 9, 1967.

Surveyor III

Apr. 17, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

281

Softlanded on Moon Apr. 19; soil sampler, photo experiments until May 3, 1967. Took 6,315 photos.

Lunar Orbiter IV

May 4, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Agena D

386

Returned 163 frames; impacted Moon Oct. 6, 1967.

Surveyor IV

Jul. 14, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

281

Signal lost 2.5 min before landing on Moon July 17.

Lunar Orbiter V

Aug. 1, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Agena D

386

Last mission of Lunar Orbiter photo-mapping program. Returned 212 frames; photographed 23 new sites on far side, lst "full earth" view, 36 scientific sites, 5 Apollo sites. Impacted Moon Jan. 31, 1968.

Surveyor V

Sep. 8, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

281

Softlanded on Moon Sep. 10. Returned over 19,000 photos, soil analysis data.

Surveyor VI

Nov. 7, 1967

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

282

Softlanded on Moon Nov. 9. Performed lst rocket liftoff from lunar surface, moving 2.5 m. Analyzed soil 27 hrs. Transmitted 30,065 TV photos.

Surveyor VII

Jan. 7, 1968

ETR

Atlas-Centaur

290

Softlanded on Moon Jan. 10. Transmitted over 21,000 TV photos Analyzed soil and dug trench. Photographed Earth and Jupiter. Surveyor program ended.with 5th success in 7 tries.

 
 
II. Soviet Union
 
 
 

Probe

Launch Date (local time)

Launch Site

Launch Vehicle

Spacecraft Weight (kg)

Mission Results

Luna I

Jan. 2, 1959

Tyuratam

A-1

361

Passed within 6,000 km of Moon; went into solar orbit.

Luna II

Sep. 12, 1959

Tyuratam

A-1

390

Struck Moon Sep. 13; lst man celestial body.

Luna III

Oct. 4, 1959

Tyuratam

A-1

435

Recorded lst- photographic data on Moon's far side. Reentered Earth's atmosphere Apr. 20, 1960.

Luna IV

Apr. 2, 1963

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,422

Passed within 8,500 km of lunar surface.

Luna V

May 9, 1965

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,476

Struck lunar surface in unsuccessful softlanding attempt May 12.

Luna VI

Jun. 8, 1965

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,442

Intended for softlanding; missed, Moon by 160,000 km, went into solar orbit.

Zond III

Jul. 18, 1965

Tyuratam

A-2-e

960

Flew by Moon and sent back photographic data; went into solar orbit.

Luna VII

Oct. 4, 1965

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,506

Intended for lunar s oftlanding. Retrorockets fired prematurely, causing impact on Moon Oct. 7.

Luna VIII

Dec. 3, 1965

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,552

Intended for lunar softlanding. Retrorockets fired late, causing spacecraft to impact Moon Dec. 7.

Luna IX

Jan. 31, 1966

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,583

First spacecraft to softland on Moon (Feb. 3) and transmit TV pictures of landing site to Earth.

Luna X

Mar. 31, 1966

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,600

First spacecraft to orbit Moon. Studied micrometeoroid flux, lunar environment until May 30, 1966.

Luna XI

Aug. 24, 1966

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,640

Entered lunar orbit Aug. 27. Sent back data until Oct. 1, 1966.

Luna XII

Oct. 22, 1966

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,670?

Entered lunar orbit Oct. 25. Studied radiation transmitted photos of lunar surface.

Luna XIII

Dec. 21, 1966

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,670?

Softlanded on Moon Dec. 24. Tested hardness of lunar surface, photographed lunar panorama.

Luna XIV

Apr. 7, 1968

Tyuratam

A-2-e

1,670?

Entered lunar orbit Apr. 10. Studied Earth-Moon mass relationships, Moon's gravitational field; no photos returned.

Zond V

Sep. 15, 1968

Tyuratam

D-l-e

4,820

First lunar flyaround, return, and recovery. Carried biological specimens, photographed Earth. Returned to Earth Sep. 21, 1968; was recovered from Indian ocean.

Zond VI

Nov. 10, 1968

Tyuratam

D-l-e

4,820

Second unmanned circumlunar flight and recovery. Carried biological specimens, camera. Landed in U.S.S.R. Nov. 17 after double-dip glide reentry, aerodynamic lift for deceleration.

 

 
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