A model of the Surveyor spacecraft series. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Part of the highly successful series of lunar landers sent to the moon to examine the feasibility of a future human mission, Surveyor 6 was the first spacecraft to be launched from the surface of the moon. It lifted itself to about 3 meters altitude and flew about 2.5 meters from its initial landing point to further validate Surveyor 5's finding that the lunar soil is basaltic, an important detail for Apollo mission planners.
The spacecraft returned nearly 30,000 images of the moon, some of which were photographs of the spacecraft's original landing footprint, which helped sceintists determine the lunar soil's mechanical properties.
- Imaging system
- Alpha-scattering surface analyzer