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Surveyor 7
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Surveyor 07
Surveyor 7 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Since its predecessors gave NASA all the data needed for the upcoming Apollo missions, Surveyor 7 was dedicated to purely scientific investigation. It was to land and take pictures in different terrain from the other Surveyors and conduct various experiments on the lunar soil.

Accomplishments: Surveyor 7 was the only spacecraft in this series to land in the lunar highland region, where it took more than 21,000 photos (many in stereo), used an alpha-scattering instrument to analyze the components of the soil and conducted at least 16 surface-bearing tests. Its TV camera registered 2 lasers aimed at it from observatories in California and Arizona, demonstrating that lasers could be used to precisely measure the distance between Earth and the Moon, as was ultimately done using reflectors installed on the Moon by Apollo and Soviet Lunokhod missions.

Key Dates
7 Jan 1968:  Launch (06:30 UT)
10 Jan 1968:  Lunar Landing
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Surveyor 07 Facts This was the first Surveyor to land in rugged lunar highlands near Tycho crater (right), significantly different - and more challenging - terrain than previous missions.

Surveyor 7 carried the most extensive science instrument payload of the series.

This mission brought the total number of Surveyor photos to more than 87,000.
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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: 1 Dec 2010