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Ranger 8 Information


Ranger Lunar Spacecraft

Ranger Lunar Spacecraft


Key Dates:

  • 02.17.65: Launch (17:05 UT)
  • 02.18.65: Lunar Impact (09:57:37 UT)
  • Status: Crashed on the Moon

Scientific Instruments:

  1. Six Television Cameras

Ranger 8 Information:

As part of the pre-Apollo preparations, NASA created the Ranger series of missions to take high-quality pictures of the Moon and transmit them back to Earth in real time. These images were not only to help select landing sites for future Apollo missions, they were also to be used for scientific study.

Each Ranger spacecraft was designed to make a "kazikaze" dive straight into the Moon and send close-range images back to Earth right up until they crashed into the surface. The cameras onboard each spacecraft were designed to provide different exposure times, fields of view, lenses, and scan rates, and they were arranged in two separate self-contained chains, each with its own power supply, timer, and transmitter.

Another success. NASA's accuracy was improving with each mission. Ranger 8 landed within 24 km (15 miles) of its intended impact site in the Sea of Tranquility. The coordinates are 2°43' north latitude and 24°38' east longitude. It back 7,137 high-quality images of the lunar surface in last 23 minutes of flight. It The final image taken before impact had a resolution of 1.5 meters per pixel.

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