|Nation||United States of America (USA)|
|Objective(s)||Highly Elliptical Orbit|
|Spacecraft Mass||2,097 pounds (951 kilograms)|
|Mission Design and Management||NASA / JPL|
|Launch Vehicle||Atlas Centaur (AC-5 / Atlas C no. 156D / Centaur C)|
|Launch Date and Time||March 2, 1965 / 13:25 UT|
|Launch Site||Cape Canaveral, Fla. / Launch Complex 36A|
March 2, 1965: Launch
March 2, 1965: Spacecraft destroyed
In Depth: Surveyor Model SD-1
This mission was designed to rehearse a complete Atlas Centaur 5 upper stage burn in support of NASA's Surveyor lunar lander program. During an actual mission, the Centaur would boost its payload on a direct ascent trajectory to the Moon.
On this test flight, NASA planned to deliver the payload, a non-functioning model known as SD-1, into an orbit of about 104 x 575,800 miles (167 x 926,625 kilometers) that simulated a lunar transfer trajectory.
Less than 2 seconds after liftoff at 13:25 UT March 2, 1965, a faulty valve that incorrectly closed caused both Atlas main engines to shut down. As a result, the booster fell back onto the pad and exploded.
Siddiqi, Asif A. Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958-2016. NASA History Program Office, 2018.