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Surveyor 6
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Surveyor 06
Surveyor 6 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Carrying instruments virtually identical to those of Surveyor 5, Surveyor 6 was designed to achieve similar goals: to perform a soft landing in the Sinus Medii region of the Moon, take pictures of the lunar surface after landing, analyze the lunar soil, and conduct an experiment to see the effect on the soil of firing a rocket engine.

Accomplishments: Surveyor 6 transmitted nearly 30,000 images of the lunar surface taken from two different vantage points. Becoming the first spacecraft to be launched from the lunar surface, Surveyor 6 lifted itself to about 3 meters altitude and flew about 2.5 meters west of its initial landing point. This provided an opportunity both for stereo imaging and observing the original landing footprints to determine the soil's mechanical properties-more than adequate to support the upcoming Apollo landings. The soil's composition was found to be basaltic, similar to that of the Surveyor 5 landing site

Key Dates
7 Nov 1967:  Launch
10 Nov 1967:  Lunar Landing (01:01:06 UT)
17 Nov 1967:  Liftoff Experiment - "Surveyor Hop" (10:32 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Surveyor 06 Facts Surveyor 6 made the first powered takeoff from the surface of another world.

The short hop helped develop technologies that would safely return Apollo astronauts from the Moon.

Surveyor 6 studied its own landing footprint (above).
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...
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Last Updated: 24 Jan 2011