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Lunar Surface Sampler

NSSDCA ID: 1967-068A-02

Mission Name: Surveyor 4
Principal Investigator:Dr. Ronald F. Scott


The soil mechanics surface sampler was designed to dig, scrape, and trench the lunar surface and to transport lunar surface material while being photographed so that the properties of the lunar surface could be determined. The sampler was mounted below the television camera and consisted primarily of a scoop approximately 12 cm long and 5 cm wide. The scoop consisted of a container, a sharpened blade, and an electrical motor to open and close the container. A small footpad was attached to the scoop door to present a flat surface to the lunar surface. The scoop was capable of holding a maximum quantity of approximately 3.2 cm diameter of solid lunar material and a maximum of 100 cc of granular material. The scoop was mounted on a pantograph arm that could be extended about 1.5 m or retracted close to the spacecraft motor drive. The arm could also be moved from an azimuth of +40 to -72 deg or be elevated 13 cm by motor drives. It could also be dropped onto the lunar surface under force provided by gravity and a spring. The surface sampler performed seven bearing tests, four trench tests, and 13 impact tests. Due to the failure of the mission the surface sampler was never deployed.

Alternate Names

  • Surveyor4/LunarSurfaceSampler


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Prof. R. M. HaythornhwaiteOther InvestigatorPennsylvania State University
Mr. R. A. ListonOther InvestigatorUnited States Army
Dr. Ronald F. ScottPrincipal InvestigatorCalifornia Institute of
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