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Ranger 8
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Ranger 08
Ranger 8 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Ranger 8 was designed to take a series of high-quality photos before crashing into the lunar surface.

Accomplishments: Ranger 8 snapped 7,137 high-resolution photographs in the 23 minutes before it crashed into the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Impact coordinates were 2°43' north latitude and 24°38' east longitude, just 24 kilometers from its intended target. Ranger images helped scientists determine if there were safe landing sites on the Moon for Apollo astronauts.

Key Dates
17 Feb 1965:  Launch (17:05 UT)
20 Feb 1965:  Lunar Impact (09:57:37 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Ranger 08 Facts Ranger 8 returned 7,137 high-quality images of the Moon.

The spacecraft's cameras were turned on eight minutes earlier than Ranger 7's camera to capture Earth-based telescope quality images that could be compared with the closer photos.

Ranger 8 hit the Moon at about 2.68 km/s (5,995 mph).
People Spotlight
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