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Ranger 5
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Ranger 05
Ranger 5 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: This was America's third attempt to study interplanetary space and photograph the Moon before crashing into the lunar surface.

Accomplishments: A malfunction caused the spacecraft batteries to drain after eight hours. The inert spacecraft missed the Moon and ended up in heliocentric (sun-centered) orbit. Mission controllers tracked it to a distance of 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles). Scientists did get back about four hours of data from a gamma ray experiment.


Key Dates
18 Oct 1962:  Launch (16:59 UT)
Status: Partial Success
Fast Facts
Ranger 05 Facts The inert Ranger 5 spacecraft is most likely still orbiting the Sun.

The spacecraft was designed to transmit pictures for 10 minutes before crashing into the Moon.

Its lunar seismometer experiment was designed to survive 130 to 160 km/hr (80 -100 mph) impact and send back data for 30 days.
People Spotlight
Al Hibbs Al Hibbs
Al Hibbs decided as a five-year-old that he wanted to go to the Moon. He did qualify as an astronaut, but his legacy is in robotic exploration. Read More...
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Last Updated: 28 Feb 2011