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Camera, Lunar Lander, Surveyor, Variable Focal Length and Iris Assembly


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Science exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This variable focal length and iris camera assembly was mounted on the Surveyor spacecraft. The iris could be operated in an automatic mode, which was controlled by integrating the scene luminance through a photocell in the lens.

In 1970, the Hughes Aircraft Co. donated the camera to the Smithsonian Institution.

Collection Item Long Description:

This is the variable focal length and iris assembly, which was mounted in the cylinderical lens support structure under the mirror elevation drive assembly in the Survey TV camera on the Surveyor spacecraft. It was responsible for the optical formation of the image on the underlying vidicon faceplate. The lens could vary its focus from 1.23 m to infinity by means of a rotating focus cell. Although the lens was a zoom type, it was calibrated to operate only at 25- or 100-mm focal lengths. These positions correspond to a wide-angle field of view of 25.2 x 25.2 degrees and a narrow-angle field of view of 6.4 x 6.4 degrees, respectively. In the narrow angle mode, the angular resolution of the camera was >0.5 mrad at 15% relative response, which allowed investigators to discriminate objects

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Donated by Hughes Aircraft Co.


Lens with housing and motors.


Overall: 5 in. tall x 3 1/4 in. wide x 5 1/4 in. deep, 1 lb. (12.7 x 8.3 x 13.3cm, 0.5kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America


SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Instruments & Payloads

Inventory Number


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