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Surveyor Model SD-1
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Surveyor Model SD-1 Mission to Our Solar System Surveyor Model SD-1 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur (AC-5 / Atlas C no. 156D / Centaur C)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States, Launch Complex 36A
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Spacecraft Mass: 951 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: None.
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,

This mission was designed to rehearse a complete Centaur upper-stage burn in support of the Surveyor lunar lander program. On a nominal mission, the Centaur would boost its payload on a direct-ascent trajectory to the Moon.

On this test flight, SD-1, a nonfunctional dynamic model, would be boosted on a simulated lunar transfer trajectory to a hypothetical Moon with an orbit of 167 x 926,625 kilometers.

During the actual launch, less than 1 second after liftoff, a faulty valve caused both Atlas main engines to shut down. As a result, the booster fell back onto the pad and exploded.


Key Dates
2 Mar 1965:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
SD-1 Facts SD-1 was sent toward a hypothetical moon to test new technologies.

Although the Moon was not targeted on this mission, this spacecraft was designed in support of the unmanned Surveyor Moon program.

Surveyor spacecraft pioneered lunar landing and takeoff technologies used a few years later to safely land astronauts on the Moon.
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Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010