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Solar System Exploration
Missions
Surveyor 4
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Surveyor 04
Surveyor 4 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur (AC-11 / Atlas D no. 291 / Centaur D)
Launch Site: Eastern Test Range / launch complex 36A, Cape Canaveral, USA
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Spacecraft Mass: 1037.4 kg at launch, about 300 kg at landing (if it landed)
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) imaging system; 2) surface sampler; and 3) soil magnet
Spacecraft Dimensions: 3 m tall; footpads extended 4.3 m from center
Maximum Power: 85 W
Total Cost: The entire program of seven Surveyor spacraft cost about $469 million.
References:
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, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

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


Like Surveyor 3, Surveyor 4 was equipped with a surface claw (with a magnet in the claw) to detect and measure ferrous elements in the lunar surface.

The mission was completely successful until all communications were abruptly lost 2 seconds prior to retrorocket cutoff at 02:03 UT on 17 July 1967, with only 2.5 minutes left to landing on the Moon. The landing target was Sinus Medii (Central Bay) at 0.4° north latitude and 1.33° west longitude.

NASA concluded that the lander might have exploded when contact was lost.


Key Dates
14 Jul 1967:  Launch (11:53:29 UT)
17 Jul 1967:  Contact Lost (02:03 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Surveyor 04 Facts This Surveyor was to land at Sinus Medii on the Moon.

Contact was abruptly lost with only 2.5 minutes to touchdown.

Engineers suspected the spacecraft exploded before landing.
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Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010