Mission Details

Mission Name: Lunar Orbiter 2
Mission Type: Lunar Orbiter
Operator: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Launching State: United States
Location: Between King & Ctesibius Craters ?
Latitude: 3
Longitude: 119.1
Launch Date: 6 November 1966, 23:21:00 UT
Landing Date: 11 October 1967
Objects on or Related to Site:
Lunar Orbiter 2
Image Source: NASA

Description

Five Lunar Orbiter missions were launched in 1966 through 1967 with the purpose of mapping the lunar surface before the Apollo landings.

All five missions were successful, and 99% of the Moon was photographed with a resolution of 60 m or better. The first three missions were dedicated to imaging 20 potential lunar landing sites, selected based on Earth-based observations. These were flown at low inclination orbits. The fourth and fifth missions were devoted to broader scientific objectives and were flown in high altitude polar orbits.

Lunar Orbiter 2’s primary mission was to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface to help select safe landing sites for the Apollo missions.

Read more:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/lunarorb.html
http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/space-missions/beresheet.html

Heritage Consideration

The spacecraft took photos covering nearly 1.6 millions square miles of the Moon’s surface.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Lunar Orbiter 2
Cospar: 1966-100A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 6 November 1966, 23:21:00 UT
Landing Date: 11 October 1967
Deployment: N/A
End Date: 11 October 1967
Function: Lunar imagery.
Image Source: NASA

Description

The Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data.

The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial lunar orbit for data acquisition after 92.5 hours flight time. The initial orbit was 196 km x 1850 km at an inclination of 11.8 degrees. The perilune was lowered to 49.7 km five days later after 33 orbits. A failure of the amplifier on the final day of readout, 7 December, resulted in the loss of six photographs. On 8 December 1966 the inclination was altered to 17.5 degrees to provide new data on lunar gravity.

The spacecraft was used for tracking purposes until it impacted the lunar surface on command at roughly 3.0 degrees N latitude, 119 degrees E longitude (selenographic coordinates) on October 11, 1967.

Read more:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1966-100A

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Lunar Prospector: Lunar Orbit
NASA's Lunar Prospector orbited the Moon for almost 19 months to map its surface composition and to look for polar ice. The probe found evidence suggesting water ice at both poles.
Lunar Orbiter 3: Lunar Orbit
Lunar Orbiter 3's primary mission was to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface to help select safe landing sites for the Apollo missions. The spacecraft's mission was site confirmation as opposed to site search.
Lunar Orbiter 1: Lunar Orbit
The Lunar Orbiter 1 mission was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection of safe landing sites for the Apollo missions.
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