Collection Item Summary:
This print shows a Surveyor spacecraft on the lunar surface, as painted by Hughes Aircraft Company artist Carlos Lopez. The Surveyor series was designed to carry out soft landings on the Moon and provide data about its surface and possible atmosphere. Hughes built seven Surveyor spacecraft for NASA that were sent to the Moon starting in the summer of 1966. All but two program goals were successfully achieved, returning over 88,000 high resolution photographs and detailed data on the nature and strength of the lunar surface. Once landed they provided detailed pictures of the surface by means of a TV camera mounted on the spacecraft. Later Surveyors carried an instrumented soil mechanics surface scoop used to study the mechanical properties of lunar soil. Some of the spacecraft were also equipped to perform simple chemical analyses on lunar soil by means of alpha particle scattering.