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Lunar Orbiter 04
Lunar Orbiter 4 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: As the first in the series dedicated to scientific investigation of the Moon, Lunar Orbiter 4 was to conduct a broad, systematic, photographic survey to increase understanding of lunar surface features and to serve as a basis for selecting sites for more-detailed study by subsequent orbital and landing missions.

Accomplishments: Lunar Orbiter 4 was the first spacecraft to fly a polar orbit around the Moon. As the Moon rotated beneath its flight path, It imaged almost all of the Moon's near side and three-quarters of the far side, and took the first photo of the lunar south pole. It also gathered gravitational data in preparation for Lunar Orbiter 5.


Key Dates
4 May 1967:  Launch (22:25:00)
17 Jul 1967:  Lunar Impact
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Lunar Orbiter 04 Facts Lunar Orbiter 4 was the first spacecraft put in a polar orbit of the Moon.

It took the first pictures of the lunar south pole, an area that remains of high scientific interest due to its potential to harbor water-ice.

Lunar Orbiter for photographed 99 percent of the Moon's near side and 75 percent of the far side in 193 frames.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010