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Lunar Orbiter 3
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Lunar Orbiter 3
Lunar Orbiter 3 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: This spacecraft was designed to photograph parts of the lunar surface to confirm safe landing sites for Surveyor and Apollo missions, as well as conduct various measurements of the Moon and its environment.

Accomplishments: Lunar Orbiter 3 transmitted 182 images to Earth, covering 15.5 million square kilometers of the Moon's near side and 650,000 square kilometers of the far side. The photographs from Lunar Orbiters 1, 2, and 3 allowed NASA scientists to select eight preliminary landing sites for Apollo, including the sites where Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 would ultimately touch down.

Key Dates
5 Feb 1967:  Launch
9 Oct 1967:  End of Lunar Mission
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Lunar Orbiter 3 Facts Lunar Orbiter 3 helped in the selection of landing sites for Apollo 11 (right) and 12.

Mission controllers also used the spacecraft to simulate the trajectory of Apollo missions.

It was deliberately crashed into the Moon at the end of its mission to avoid potential communication interference.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010