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Surveyor (crater)

Coordinates: 3°01′S 23°25′W / 3.02°S 23.42°W / -3.02; -23.42
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LRO Narrow Angle Camera image. The Apollo 12 Lunar Module Intrepid is in upper left, the Surveyor 3 lander is on the right side of the crater, and astronaut tracks are visible as dark lines.
Coordinates3°01′S 23°25′W / 3.02°S 23.42°W / -3.02; -23.42
Diameter200 m[1]
Depth12 m[2]
EponymAstronaut-named feature

Surveyor crater is a small crater in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon. The name of the crater was formally adopted by the IAU in 1973.[1]

On April 20, 1967, the Surveyor 3 spacecraft landed within the crater near the east rim. Surveyor 3 was the third lander of the American unmanned Surveyor program sent to explore the surface of the Moon.

The Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed the Lunar Module (LM) Intrepid north of Surveyor crater on November 19, 1969, and eventually walked over to Surveyor 3. During their descent, Surveyor crater was a major landmark, and is the largest crater at the landing site. To the west of Surveyor is Head crater. To the southwest are Bench crater and Sharp crater (now called Sharp-Apollo). To the south is Halo crater. A distinct crater on the northeast rim is called Block crater.

Surveyor crater shortly after landing. The Surveyor 3 spacecraft is in shadow.
Block crater in foreground and Surveyor crater in background, near the end of second EVA of the mission. Surveyor 3 spacecraft is visible behind Block.


Many samples were collected in and around Surveyor crater.[3] Samples taken near the LM on the north rim of Surveyor crater include drive tube sample 12026,[4] and contingency samples 12073 (regolith breccia)[5] and 12075 (olivine basalt).[6] Soil Sample 12042 was collected on the southwest rim near Halo crater.[7] Samples 12043 (pigeonite basalt),[8] 12044 (soil),[9] 12051 (ilmenite basalt),[10] and 12054 (glass-coated ilmenite basalt)[11] were collected on the south rim. Samples 12056,[12] 12062,[13] 12063,[14] 12064[15] (all ilmenite basalts), and 12065 (pigeonite basalt)[16] were all likely collected in the interior of the crater near the east rim and northeast of the Surveyor 3 lander. Samples 12045,[17] 12046,[18] and 12047[19] (all ilmenite basalts) were collected at Block crater on the north rim of Surveyor crater.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Surveyor, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
  2. ^ Surveyor Crater Map
  3. ^ Apollo 12 Preliminary Science Report, NASA Special Publication 235, 1970. Figure 10-1 (Traverse Map).
  4. ^ Sample 12026
  5. ^ Sample 12073
  6. ^ Sample 12075
  7. ^ Sample 12042
  8. ^ Sample 12043
  9. ^ Sample 12044
  10. ^ Sample 12051
  11. ^ Sample 12054
  12. ^ Sample 12056
  13. ^ Sample 12062
  14. ^ Sample 12063
  15. ^ Sample 12064
  16. ^ Sample 12065
  17. ^ Sample 12045
  18. ^ Sample 12046
  19. ^ Sample 12047