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Lunar Orbiter 5
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Lunar Orbiter 5
Lunar Orbiter 5 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Lunar Orbiter 5 was to photograph potential Apollo and Surveyor landing sites and survey previously unphotographed parts of the Moon's far side. It was also to measure radiation intensity and the frequency of micrometeoroid impacts in the lunar environment, and provide detailed orbital data to enable mapping of the Moon's gravitational field.

Accomplishments: The spacecraft photographed 36 different areas on the near side (including 5 potential Apollo landing sites and several for Surveyor) and mapped most of the far side, bringing total coverage of the Lunar Orbiter program to 99 percent of the lunar surface. A special 10-day period of continuous tracking of Lunar Orbiter 5 permitted U.S. scientists to produce a detailed gravity map of the Moon's near side, revealing the locations of the Moon's mass concentrations.


Key Dates
1 Aug 1967:  Launch (22:33:00 UT)
5 Aug 1967:  Lunar Orbit Insertion
31 Jan 1968:  Deliberately Crashed into Lunar Surface
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Lunar Orbiter 5 Facts This mission brought the Lunar Orbiter program's coverage of the lunar surface to 99 percent.

The spacecraft provided spectacular high-quality photos of Earth, showing Africa and the Middle East.

The University of Arizona used its telescope to photograph Lunar Orbiter 5 in orbit around the Moon when the spacecraft was turned to reflect sunlight from its mirrors and solar panels (above).
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010