Surveyor 3 on the Moon
Date: 20 Nov 1969
Surveyor 3 transmitted 6,326 TV pictures of the surrounding area to Earth. But its biggest achievement was scooping up shovelfuls of lunar soil and conducting experiments to see how the soil would stand up to the weight of an Apollo lunar module. Scientists found the soil to have a consistency similar to wet sand, solid enough for the needs of the upcoming Apollo missions.