National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Lunar Orbiter 3
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
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.
Science & Technology Features
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010