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Solar System Exploration
Surveyor 2
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Surveyor 02
Surveyor 2 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur (AC-7 / Atlas D no. 194 / Centaur D)
Launch Site: Eastern Test Range, launch complex 36A, Cape Canaveral, USA
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Spacecraft Mass: 995.2 kg at launch
Spacecraft Instruments: Imaging system
Spacecraft Dimensions: 3 m tall; footpads extended 4.3 m from center
Spacecraft Power: Solar cells, rechargeable silver-zinc batteries
Maximum Power: 85 W
Total Cost: The entire Surveyor Program of 7 spacecraft cost $469 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,

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.

Surveyor 2, similar in design to its predecessor, was aimed for a lunar soft-landing in Sinus Medii.

During the coast to the Moon, at 05:00 UT on 21 September, one of three thrusters failed to ignite for a 9.8-second midcourse correction and thus put the spacecraft into an unwanted spin.

Despite as many as 39 repeated attempts to fire the recalcitrant thruster, the engine failed to ignite, and Surveyor 2 headed to the Moon without proper control. Just 30 seconds after retro-fire ignition at 09:34 UT on 22 September, communications fell out, and the lander crashed onto the surface of the Moon at 5°30' north latitude and 12° west longitude, just southeast of Copernicus crater.

Key Dates
20 Sep 1966:  Launch (12:32 UT)
22 Sep 1966:  Lunar Impact (09:34 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Surveyor 02 Facts A failed thruster caused loss of control. Surveyor 2 crashed near Copernicus crater (right).

The Surveyor program cost about $469 million.

A total of seven spacecraft were launched during the program.
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30 Sep 1966: 
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Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010