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Ranger Spacecraft

study space, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, scientific instruments, television cameras, USSR

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Ranger (spacecraft), series of nine, unpiloted, United States space probes, launched from 1961 to 1965, designed for exploration of the moon. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) designed the Ranger program to test management techniques, procedures, and technology necessary for later lunar and interplanetary probes. Early Ranger probes were equipped with scientific instruments to study space between the moon and the earth. Later probes in the series were designed for lunar impact, in which television cameras transmitted detailed images of the moon’s surface before the spacecraft crashed into the moon. Ranger was also expected to improve upon the disappointing performance of early U.S. Pioneer lunar probes. The Ranger program was spurred by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which launched Luna 2 in 1959, the first spacecraft to impact the moon.

Contributors

Kahn, Mark E., B.A., M.A.

Archivist, NCI Information for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.



Article key phrases:

study space, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, scientific instruments, television cameras, USSR, management techniques, NASA, spacecraft, moon, exploration, earth, surface, procedures, series

 
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