Surveyor 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Surveyor 4
Surveyor mockup.jpg
Surveyor model on Earth
Mission type Lunar lander
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1967-068A
SATCAT № 02875
Mission duration 65 hours
Failed to land
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Hughes Aircraft
Dry mass 282 kilograms (622 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date July 14, 1967, 11:53:29 (1967-07-14UTC11:53:29Z) UTC
Rocket Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-36A
End of mission
Last contact 17 July 1967, 02:02:30 (1967-07-17UTC02:02:31Z) UTC (approx)
Lunar impact (failed landing)
Impact date July 17, 1967, 02:05:00 UTC
Impact site 0°27′N 1°23′W / 0.45°N 1.39°W / 0.45; -1.39

Surveyor 4 was the fourth lunar lander in the American unmanned Surveyor program sent to explore the surface of the Moon. This spacecraft crashed after an otherwise flawless mission; telemetry contact was lost 2.5 minutes before touchdown. The planned landing target was Sinus Medii (Central Bay) at 0.4° north latitude and 1.33° west longitude.


This spacecraft was the fourth in a series designed to achieve a soft landing on the Moon and to return photography of the lunar surface for determining characteristics of the lunar terrain for Apollo lunar landing missions. Equipment on board included a television camera and auxiliary mirrors, a soil mechanics surface sampler, strain gauges on the spacecraft landing legs, and numerous engineering sensors. Like Surveyor 3, Surveyor 4 was also equipped with a surface claw (with a magnet in the claw) to detect and measure ferrous elements in the lunar surface.

After a flawless flight to the Moon, radio signals from the spacecraft ceased during the terminal-descent phase at 02:03 UT on 17 July 1967, approximately 2.5 minutes before touchdown. Contact with the spacecraft was never reestablished, and the mission was unsuccessful. The solid-fuel retrorocket may have exploded near the end of its scheduled burn.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]