On the surface

  • David M. Harland
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The assembly of Surveyor 1 started in the autumn of 1964 at the Hughes Aircraft Corporation in El Segundo, California. The preliminary tests revealed a number of design problems, which were overcome. It was then subjected to vibration tests in June 1965. After upgrades designed to improve its performance, the spacecraft was fully checked and in August it was installed in a vacuum chamber for solar-thermal tests during which it ‘flew’ several missions. These tests revealed various issues, and it took until 22 January 1966 to achieve acceptable performance. It arrived at the General Dynamics-Astronautics Combined Systems Test Stand near San Diego on 19 February for compatibility tests with its launch vehicle. The principal activities in this facility were to demonstrate the physical compatibility of the adapter between the spacecraft and the Centaur, and to conduct a simulated countdown and flight to the point at which the spacecraft was released to verify the operational connectivity of the entire vehicle. The Atlas had been installed horizontally in the test stand on 29 December, and on 31 January the Centaur had been stacked on the interstage support ring nearby in a vertical orientation. By 4 March the spacecraft had been mated and the aerodynamic shroud fitted. After a thorough systems readiness test on 7 March the spacecraft was retrieved and then flown to Florida aboard a C-133 Cargomaster on 13 March.


Lunar Surface Solar Panel Shock Absorber Lunar Orbiter Slant Range 
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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Harland
    • 1
  1. 1.Kelvinbridge GlasgowUK

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