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Ranger 1
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Ranger 01
Ranger 1 Mission to Our Solar System Ranger 1 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Ranger 1 was intended to test new technologies that would take humankind to the Moon and other planets. It was also designed to study particles and fields as it traveled through space in a highly elliptical Earth orbit.

Accomplishments: None. A malfunction left the spacecraft stranded in a deteriorating Earth orbit. The spacecraft burned up in Earth's atmosphere a week after launch.


Key Dates
23 Aug 1961:  Launch (10:04 UT)
27 Aug 1961:  Telemetry Lost
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Ranger 01 Facts Although Ranger 1 and 2 were key parts of America's lunar exploration efforts, they were not sent to the Moon.

Plans instead called for the first two Rangers to be placed in highly elliptical Earth orbits that would carry them into deep space beyond the Moon.

Neither Ranger 1 nor Ranger 2 were successful.
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: 10 Dec 2010