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Ranger 06
Ranger 6 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: This was America's fourth attempt to photograph the Moon before crashing into the lunar surface. The spacecraft was also a testbed for new technologies such as deployable solar panels that would benefit future missions.

Accomplishments: Ranger 6 made it to the Moon and impacted as planned, but no pictures were returned due to a short in the power supply for the TV camera package. Impact coordinates were 9 degrees, 24' north latitude and 21 degrees, 30' east longitude on the eastern edge of the Sea of Tranquility.

Key Dates
30 Jan 1964:  Launch (15:49:09 UT)
2 Feb 1964:  Lunar Impact (09:24:32 UT)
Status: Partial Success
Fast Facts
Ranger 06 Facts Rangers 6 through 9 were the third generation of Ranger spacecraft -- and also the most successful.

Ranger 6 performed perfectly, but a short in its imaging system (right) prevented it from sending back pictures.

The most likely cause of failure was due to an arc-over in the TV power system when it inadvertently turned on for 67 seconds about 2 minutes after launch.
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: 6 Dec 2010