Lunar Orbiter

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets. Highlighted in this image is the high-gain antenna.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets. The first three orbited around the Moon's equator and provided detailed photographic coverage of the primary Apollo landing sites, including stereo images.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets. The first three orbited around the Moon's equator and provided detailed photographic coverage of the primary Apollo landing sites, including stereo images.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets. The first three orbited around the Moon's equator and provided detailed photographic coverage of the primary Apollo landing sites, including stereo images.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

    12 of 13

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Lunar Orbiter

    Four square solar panels constructed of aluminum frames and composite solar collectors, attached to a central body via aluminum struts. The Central bus consists of a variety of solid boxes and stalks with panels and other objects projecting from it. A tubular mast at the apex of the frame supports a rectangular a circular high gain antenna. A selection of instrument boxes, vernier rockets and their fuel containers, and the TV camera are attached to the frame.

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Lunar Orbiter was the project that mapped the Moon in preparation for the Apollo landings. A total of five Lunar Orbiters were flown to the Moon. They were built for NASA's Langley Research Center by Boeing and launched to the Moon on Atlas-Agena rockets. The first three orbited around the Moon's equator and provided detailed photographic coverage of the primary Apollo landing sites, including stereo images. Because of the success of these earlier missions, the final two Lunar Orbiters were placed into a polar orbit so that virtually the entire surface of the Moon was mapped. In addition to images of the Apollo landing sites, Lunar Orbiter provided many breathtaking photographs, including features on the farside.

In addition to the near global photographic coverage of the Moon, Lunar Orbiter provided additional information that aided Apollo. Sensors on board indicated that radiation levels near the Moon would pose no danger to the astronauts. Analysis of the spacecraft orbits found evidence of gravity perturbations, which suggested that the Moon was not gravatationally uniform. Instead it appeared as if buried concentrations of mass were under the mare deposits. By discovering and defining these "mascons," Lunar Orbiter made it possible for the Apollo missions to conduct highly accurate landings and precision rendezvous.

After depleting their film supplies, all five Lunar Orbiters were purposely crashed onto the Moon to prevent their radio transmitters from interfering with future spacecraft.