Surveyor 1

Surveyor Spacecraft Surveyor Spacecraft

A model of the Surveyor spacecraft series. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission Summary

Surveyor 1, the first of a series of seven robotic spacecraft sent to the moon to gather data in preparation for NASA's Apollo missions, was the first spacecraft to make a true soft landing on the moon. As such, it was one of the great successes of NASA's early lunar and interplanetary program.

The soft landing was achieved using a retrorocket and a bank of three thrusters to slow the lander's speed from almost 6,000 miles per hour to just 3 miles per hour and safely touch down on the lunar surface. Over a period of about 30 days, Surveyor 1 transmitted more than 11,000 photographs as well as data on the moon's surface and temperature.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Imaging system


Type: Lander/Rover
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: May 30, 1966
(14:41 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Landing Date: June 02, 1966
06:17 UTC
 
Mission End Date: January 07, 1967
 
Target: Moon
 
Destination: Moon
 
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