Mission Type: Impact
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Agena B (no. 7 / Atlas D no. 215 / Agena no. 6005)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States, launch complex 12
Spacecraft Mass: 342.46 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) imaging system; 2) gamma-ray spectrometer; 3) single-axis seismometer and 4) surface-scanning pulse radio experiment
Spacecraft Power: 135.0 W
Total Cost: Total research, development, launch, and support costs for the Ranger series of spacecraft (Rangers 1 through 9) was approximately $170 million.
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi
National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/
This was the third attempt to impact the lunar surface with a Block II Ranger spacecraft. On this mission, just 15 minutes after normal operation, a malfunction led to the transfer of power from solar to battery power. Normal operation never resumed; battery power was depleted after eight hours, and all spacecraft systems died.
The first midcourse correction was never implemented, and Ranger 5 passed the Moon at a range of 724 kilometers on 21 October and entered heliocentric orbit. It was tracked to a distance of 1,271,381 kilometers. Before loss of signal, the spacecraft sent back about 4 hours of data from the gamma-ray experiment.