Mission Details

Mission Name: Surveyor 6
Mission Type: Lunar Lander
Operator: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Launching State: United States
Location: Sinus Medii
Latitude: 0.473
Longitude: -1.427
Launch Date: 7 November 1967, 07:39:01 UT
Landing Date: 17 November 1967
Objects on or Related to Site:
Surveyor 6
Image Source: NASA

Description

The Surveyor program consisted of seven uncrewed lunar missions that were launched between May 1966 and January 1968. Five of these spacecraft, Surveyor 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 successfully soft-landed on the lunar surface. In addition to demonstrating the feasibility of lunar surface landings, the Surveyor missions obtained lunar and cislunar photographs and both scientific and technological information needed for the Apollo manned landing program. Four spacecraft, Surveyor 1, 3, 5, and 6, returned data from selected mare sites from Apollo program support, and Surveyor 7 provided data from a contrasting rugged highland region.

The mission of Surveyor 6 was to demonstrate the technology necessary to achieve landing and operations on the lunar surface. Before termination of operations, on Nov. 17, 1967, Surveyor 6 was commanded to fire its three main liquid propellant thrusters for 2.5 seconds. As a result, the lander became the first spacecraft to be launched from the lunar surface. Surveyor 6 lifted up to about 10 feet (3 meters) before landing about 8 feet (2.5 meters) west of its original landing point.

Read more:
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/missions/surveyor/
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/surveyor-6/in-depth/

Heritage Consideration

Surveyor 6 was the first human spacecraft to liftoff from the Moon or any celestial body other than Earth.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Surveyor 6
Cospar: 1967-112A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 7 November 1967, 07:39:01 UT
Landing Date: 17 November 1967
Deployment: N/A
End Date: 14 December 1967
Function: Lunar landing feasibility and data collection.
Image Source: NASA

Description

Surveyor 6 was the fourth of the Surveyor series to successfully achieve a soft landing on the Moon.

The specific primary objectives for this mission were to perform a soft landing on the Moon in the Sinus Medii region and obtain postlanding television pictures of the lunar surface.

The secondary objectives were to determine the relative abundance of the chemical elements in the lunar soil by operation of the alpha-scattering instrument, obtain touchdown dynamics data, obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data, and conduct a vernier-engine erosion experiment.

On 17 November at 10:32 UT the vernier engines were fired for 2.5 seconds, causing Surveyor to lift off the lunar surface 3 to 4 meters and land about 2.4 meters west of its original position. This lunar “hop” represented the first powered takeoff from the lunar surface and furnished new information on the effects of firing rocket engines on the Moon, allowed viewing of the original landing site, and provided a baseline for stereoscopic viewing and photogrammetric mapping of the surrounding terrain.

The mission transmitted images until a few hours after sunset on 24 November, returning a total of 29,952 images. The alpha-scattering experiment acquired 30 hours of data on the surface material. The spacecraft was placed into hibernation for the lunar night on 26 November.

Contact with the spacecraft was resumed on 14 December for a short period, but no useful data were returned and the last transmission was received at 19:14 UT on 14 December 1967.

Read more:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1967-112A

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Surveyor 7: Lunar Landing
The mission of Surveyor 7 was to explore a region of the Moon other than lunar maria and into the lunar highlands. Surveyor 7 was the first probe to detecet the faint glow on the lunar horizon after dark that is now thought to be light reflected from electrostatically levitated
Surveyor 5: Lunar Landing
The mission of Surveyor 5 was to demonstrate the technology necessary to achieve landing and operations on the lunar surface. Surveyor 5 was the first human spacecraft to complete a soil analysis on another celestial boday other than Earth.
Surveyor 4: Lunar Landing
The mission of Surveyor 4 was to demonstrate the technology necessary to achieve landing and operations on the lunar surface. Radio signals from the spacecraft stopped a few minutes before landing and contact was never reestablished.
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