National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Surveyor 2
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
 
 Past 
 Present 
 Future 
 Concepts 
Surveyor 02
Surveyor 2 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur (AC-7 / Atlas D no. 194 / Centaur D)
Launch Site: Eastern Test Range, launch complex 36A, Cape Canaveral, USA
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Spacecraft Mass: 995.2 kg at launch
Spacecraft Instruments: Imaging system
Spacecraft Dimensions: 3 m tall; footpads extended 4.3 m from center
Spacecraft Power: Solar cells, rechargeable silver-zinc batteries
Maximum Power: 85 W
Total Cost: The entire Surveyor Program of 7 spacecraft cost $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.


Surveyor 2, similar in design to its predecessor, was aimed for a lunar soft-landing in Sinus Medii.

During the coast to the Moon, at 05:00 UT on 21 September, one of three thrusters failed to ignite for a 9.8-second midcourse correction and thus put the spacecraft into an unwanted spin.

Despite as many as 39 repeated attempts to fire the recalcitrant thruster, the engine failed to ignite, and Surveyor 2 headed to the Moon without proper control. Just 30 seconds after retro-fire ignition at 09:34 UT on 22 September, communications fell out, and the lander crashed onto the surface of the Moon at 5°30' north latitude and 12° west longitude, just southeast of Copernicus crater.


Key Dates
20 Sep 1966:  Launch (12:32 UT)
22 Sep 1966:  Lunar Impact (09:34 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Surveyor 02 Facts A failed thruster caused loss of control. Surveyor 2 crashed near Copernicus crater (right).

The Surveyor program cost about $469 million.

A total of seven spacecraft were launched during the program.
Science & Technology Features
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...
Headlines
30 Sep 1966: 
Links
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 Writer: Autumn Burdick
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
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010