LUNAR IMPACT: A History of Project Ranger

Appendix B

LUNAR MISSIONS 1958 THROUGH 1965


Table B-1 Lunar Missions 1958 -1965

U.S.A.

 

U.S.S.R.

Launch date

Name

Mission

Results

Mission

Name

Launch date

Aug.17, 1958

Pioneer 0

Flyby

Launch failed; booster explosion after liftoff

     

Oct. 11, 1958

Pioneer 1

Flyby

FlybyLaunch failed; uneven separation of second and third stages

     

Nov. 8, 1958

Pioneer 2

Flyby

Launch failed; third-stage ignition failure

     

Dec. 6, 1958

Pioneer 3

Flyby

Premature cessation of engine burn, apogee 107,500 km; discovered two radiation shells around earth

     
     

Passed within 5965 km of moon; measured lunar magnetic field and radioactivity

Undisclosed

Luna 1

Jan. 2, 1959

Mar. 3, 1959

Pioneer 4

Flyby

Missed moon by 59,000 km, tracked to 650,000 km; injection velocity low; measured cosmic radiation

     
     

First lunar impact; found moon to have virtually no magnetic field

Impact

Luna 2

Sep. 12, 1959

Sep.24, 1959

Atlas-Able 4

Lunar orbit

Pad explosion during static tests, vehicle destroyed; planned for launch in October 1959

     
     

Circled moon; successfully photographed 60 percent of backside hemisphere of moon

Circumlunar

Luna 3

Oct. 4, 1959

Nov.26, 2959

Atlas-Able (P-3)

Lunar orbit

Launch failed; shroud collapsed during launch destroying satellite

     

Sep.25, 1960

Atlas-Able (P-30)

Lunar orbit

Launch failed; second stage malfunctioned

     

Dec. 15, 1960

Atlas-Able (P-31)

Lunar orbit

Launch failed; vehicle exploded at 70 seconds

     

Jan.26, 1962

Ranger 3

Seismic capsule rough landing

Missed moon by 36,589 km; launch vehicle guidance system failures. Ranger midcourse maneuver was mirror image of planned course correction

     

Apr. 23, 1962

Ranger 4

Seismic capsule rough landing

Lunar impact; spacecraft computer-timer failure caused loss of mission

     

Oct. 18, 1962

Ranger 5

Seismic capsule rough landing

Missed moon by 720 km; Ranger spacecraft power failure rendered midcourse correction and operation of most experiments impossible

     
     

Apparently intended as soft lander, missed moon by 8451 km; cause of failure not disclosed

Undisclosed

Luna 4

Apr. 2, 1963

Jan.30, 1964

Ranger 6

Television impactor

Lunar impact (Sea of Tranquility); returned no pictures, television transmission failed

     

Jul. 28, 1964

Ranger 7

Television impactor

Lunar impact (Sea of Clouds); returned first high-resolution pictures of lunar mare

     

Feb.17, 1965

Ranger 8

Television impactor

Lunar impact (Sea of Tranquility); returned additional high-resolution pictures of lunar mare

     

Mar. 21, 1965

Ranger 9

Television impactor

Lunar impact (Crater Alphonsus); returned high-resolution pictures of highland crater

     
     

Lunar impact, intended soft landing failed; cause of failure not disclosed

Soft lander

Luna 5

May 9, 1965

     

Missed moon by 160,000 km; midcourse correction failed

Soft lander

Luna 6

Jun. 8, 1965

     

Solar orbit; returned first clear pictures of backside of moon

Photographic flyby

Zond 7

Jul. 18, 1965

     

Lunar impact; intended soft landing faded; landing system failure

Soft lander

Luna 8

Oct. 4, 1965

     

Lunar impact; intended soft landing failed; landing system failure

Soft lander

Luna 9

Dec. 3, 1965

Table B-1 Lunar Missions 1958 -1965


Appendix A  link to the previous page        link to the next page  Appendix C