Ranger 4

Ranger Spacecraft Ranger Spacecraft

NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft was part of the second generation, or block 2, (pictured here) of the Ranger mission series. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Mission Summary

The Ranger 4 spacecraft, which was designed to collect data on interplanetary space, photograph the moon up close and make a rough landing on the lunar surface, was the first American spacecraft to reach another celestial body. The lander was part of the series of nine Ranger spacecraft launched in the early 1960s to explore the moon.

However, a failure in the spacecraft's onboard computer left Ranger 4's solar panels and navigation system undeployed and the spacecraft unable to carry out its science objectives. Ranger 4 crashed into the far side of the moon on April 26, 1962.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Imaging system
- Gamma ray spectrometer
- Radar altimeter
- Seismometer


Type: Lander/Rover
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: April 23, 1962
(20:50 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Landing Date: April 26, 1962
12:49 UTC
 
Mission End Date: April 26, 1962
 
Target: Moon
 
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