Model, Lunar Probe, Ranger

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This object is on display in the Time and Navigation exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

This is a 1/24th scale model of Ranger 1 and 2, the spacecraft series that sought to gather knowledge about the Moon in the first yearsof the space age, and which gave scientists their first close look at the lunar surface. Rangers 1 and 2 were test missions in Earth orbit, although neither of them were successful in 1959 and 1960. Later versions of this spacecraft, Rangers 7, 8, and 9, were successful in the middle part of the 1960s in reaching the Moon and returning imagery of its surface. Those pictures revealed details that could not be seen through telescopes on Earth.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.