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Surveyor 2



This spacecraft was the second of a series designed to achieve a soft landing on the moon and to return lunar surface photography for determining characteristics of the lunar terrain for Apollo lunar landing missions. It was also equipped to return data on radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, bearing strength of the lunar surface, and spacecraft temperatures for use in the analysis of lunar surface temperatures. The target area proposed was within Sinus Medii. During the midcourse maneuver, one vernier engine failed to ignite, resulting in an unbalanced thrust that caused the spacecraft to tumble. Attempts to salvage the mission failed and it impacted the Moon on 23 September 1966 at 03:18 UT (22 September, 11:18 p.m. EDT) at roughly 5.5 N, 12 W. The Surveyor program involved building and launching 7 Surveyor spacecraft to the Moon at a total cost of $469 million.

Alternate Names

  • AC 7
  • 02425
  • Surveyor2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1966-09-20
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 292 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office


Selected References

  • Surveyor 2 mission report, mission description and performance, JPL, Calif. Inst. Technol., TR 32-1086, Pasadena, CA, Apr. 1967.
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