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NSSDCA ID: 1967-112A-01

Mission Name: Surveyor 6
Principal Investigator:Dr. Eugene M. Shoemaker


The TV camera consisted of a vidicon tube, 25- and 100-mm focal length lenses, shutters, polarizing filters (as opposed to color filters used on the previous Surveyer cameras), and iris mounted nearly vertically and surmounted by a mirror that could be adjusted by stepping motors to move in both azimuth and elevation. The polarizing filters served as analyzers for the detection of measurement of the linearly polarized component of light scattered from the lunar surface. An auxiliary mirror was used for viewing the lunar surface beneath the spacecraft. The frame-by-frame coverage of the lunar surface provided a 360-deg azimuth view and an elevation view from approximately +90 deg above the plane normal to the camera z axis to -60 deg below this same plane. Both 600-line and 200-line modes of operation were used. The 200-line mode transmitted over an omnidirectional antenna and scanned one frame each 61.8 sec. A complete video transmission of each 200-line picture required 20 sec and utilized a bandwidth of 1.2 KHz. Most transmissions consisted of the 600-line pictures, which were telemetered by a directional antenna. The frames were scanned each 3.6 sec. Each frame required nominally 1 sec to be read from the vidicon and utilized a 220-KHz bandwidth for transmission. The optical surfaces were the cleanest of any mission because of a redesigned mirror hood. The television images were displayed on a slow scan monitor coated with a long persistency phosphor. The persistency was selected to optimally match the nominal maximum frame rate. One frame of TV identification was received for each incoming TV frame and was displayed in real time at a rate compatible with that of the incoming image. These data were recorded on a video magnetic tape recorder and on 70-mm film. The camera performance was excellent in terms of both the quantity and quality of pictures. Between lunar landing, lunar 'second' landing, and the lunar first day sunset on November 24, 1967, 29,914 pictures were taken and transmitted.

Alternate Names

  • Surveyor6/Television


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Raymond M. BatsonOther InvestigatorUS Geological Survey
Dr. R. A. AltenhofenOther InvestigatorUS Geological Survey
Dr. Eugene M. ShoemakerPrincipal InvestigatorCalifornia Institute of Technology

Selected References

  • Shoemaker, E. M., et al., Television observations from Surveyor, Surveyor Program Results, NASA SP-184, Wash., DC, 1969.
  • Morris, E. C., et al., Television observations from Surveyor VI, in Surveyor 6, Prelim. Rept., NASA SP-166, Wash., DC, 1968.
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