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The third attempt by the United States to land a spacecraft on the moon, Ranger 5 was designed to collect data on interplanetary space, photograph the moon up close and make a rough landing on the lunar surface. The lander was part of the series of nine Ranger spacecraft launched in the early 1960s to explore the moon.
However, a malfunction with the spacecraft's batteries caused them to drain after about eight hours of flight, leaving Ranger 5 inoperable. The spacecraft missed the moon by 450.5 miles (725 kilometers) on October 21, 1962 and remains in heliocentric orbit.
- Imaging system
- Gamma ray spectrometer
- Radar altimeter