|Nation||United States of America (USA)|
|Spacecraft Mass||755 pounds (342.46 kilograms)|
|Mission Design and Management||NASA / JPL|
|Launch Vehicle||Atlas Agena B (Atlas Agena B no. 7 / Atlas D no. 215 / Agena no. 6005)|
|Launch Date and Time||Oct. 18, 1962 / 16:59:00 UT|
|Launch Site||Cape Canaveral, Fla. / Launch Complex 12|
|Scientific Instruments||1. Imaging System
2. Gamma-Ray Spectrometer
3. Single-Axis Seismometer
4. Surface-Scanning Pulse Radio Experiment
Oct. 18, 1962: Launch
Oct. 21, 1962: End of mission
In Depth: Ranger 5
This was the third attempt by the U.S. to impact the surface of the Moon using a Block 2 Ranger spacecraft.
On this mission, after just 15 minutes of normal operation, a malfunction led to the transfer of power from solar to battery power. Normal operations never resumed, and the battery power was depleted after 8 hours. After that, all spacecraft systems died.
The first course correction was never implemented, and Ranger 5 passed the Moon at a range of 450 miles (724 kilometers) Oct. 21, 1962, and entered heliocentric orbit. It was tracked to a distance of about 790,000 miles (1,271,381 kilometers).
Before loss of signal, the spacecraft sent back about four hours of data from its gamma-ray experiment.
Siddiqi, Asif A. Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958-2016. NASA History Program Office, 2018.