National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Lunar Orbiter 4
Missions to the Moon
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Lunar Orbiter 04
Lunar Orbiter 4 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: As the first in the series dedicated to scientific investigation of the Moon, Lunar Orbiter 4 was to conduct a broad, systematic, photographic survey to increase understanding of lunar surface features and to serve as a basis for selecting sites for more-detailed study by subsequent orbital and landing missions.

Accomplishments: Lunar Orbiter 4 was the first spacecraft to fly a polar orbit around the Moon. As the Moon rotated beneath its flight path, It imaged almost all of the Moon's near side and three-quarters of the far side, and took the first photo of the lunar south pole. It also gathered gravitational data in preparation for Lunar Orbiter 5.

Key Dates
4 May 1967:  Launch (22:25:00)
17 Jul 1967:  Lunar Impact
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Lunar Orbiter 04 Facts Lunar Orbiter 4 was the first spacecraft put in a polar orbit of the Moon.

It took the first pictures of the lunar south pole, an area that remains of high scientific interest due to its potential to harbor water-ice.

Lunar Orbiter for photographed 99 percent of the Moon's near side and 75 percent of the far side in 193 frames.
Science & Technology Features
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 Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
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
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010