Monday, April 17, 2017

Surveyor 3, third lunar lander, launched 1967

Surveyor 3, launched April 27, 1967, was the third lander of the Surveyor program.  It landed on April 20 in Ocean Procellarum.  Actually, it bounced a couple of times before making a soft landing.  Surveyor 3 performed soil samples using a scoop, digging trenches that were photographed and transmitted to Earth.  The first lunar nightfall came on May 3 and when dawn came 14 Earth-days later, Surveyor 3 could not be reactivated.

Apollo 12 used Surveyor 3 as a target, landing within walking distance. Commander Charles Conrad Jr and Alan Bean, Lunar Module Pilot collected several components from Surveyor 3 and returned them to Earth, to study the long-term effects of exposure to the lunar environment on human-made stuff.

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