National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Lunar Orbiter 5
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 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).
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