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Explorer 49 Information


Explorer 49 Lunar Mission

Explorer 49 Lunar Mission


Key Dates:

  • 06.10.73: Launch (14:13 UT)
  • 06.15.73: Lunar Orbit Insertion (07:21 UT)
  • Aug 1977: Last Contact
  • Status: Mission Complete

Explorer 49 Information:

It all started with a basketball-sized device launched into space in 1957 called Sputnik. This put the United States into a panic and led to the launch of Explorer 1, the United States's first satellite. Thus began the Explorer missions.

The Explorer program is the longest running series of NASA missions. Spacecraft from this series have studied the Sun, Moon, Earth and the environment of our solar system, with many still in operation. The program continues today with mission oprations planned through 2009. Of the many Explorer mission, three have been sent to study our moon. All were successful to some extent.

Explorer 49 was the last U.S. mission to the Moon for 21 years. It was also the largest spacecraft to enter lunar orbit. Explorer 49's main mission was radio astronomy, using a set of giant antennas, the spacecraft took measurements of the planets, our Sun and beyond. The mission ended in June 1975.

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