LUNAR ORBITER: MAPPING MISSIONS
The Lunar Orbiters were designed to provide detailed photographs for mapping the Moon. Five Lunar Orbiters were launched in 1966 and 1967. The first three missions concentrated on potential Apollo landing sites. The last two spacecraft went into polar orbit for scientific photography of the Moon.
Each Lunar Orbiter carried a complete film processing laboratory. Both close-up and wide-angle pictures were made on 70-millimeter film, developed, scanned, and converted to electrical signals, and then transmitted to Earth. The Lunar Orbiters photographed about 95 percent of the Moon's surface from an altitude of about 45 kilometers (28 miles), revealing features as small as 0.3 meters (1 foot) in diameter.
The Lunar Orbiter displayed here was used for tests on Earth.(Transferred from NASA)
Height: 1.7 m (5 ft 6 in)
Diameter: 1.5 m (5 ft)
Width (antenna): 5.6 m (18 ft 6 in)
Weight: 390 kg (860 lb)
Manufacturer: Boeing Aerospace Co.
Launch vehicle: Atlas-Agena D
Lunar Orbiter Firsts
|©National Air and Space Museum|