Scratching the Moon
The 6-month hiatus after Surveyor 2 was not due to concern over the loss of that spacecraft, but to the wait for the restartable version of the Centaur. The two-burn configuration traded payload capacity against the hardware to restart the engines and the cryo-propellants that would be vented while coasting in parking orbit, but it offered Surveyor launches in winter months,1 considerably lengthened the launch windows, and increased the flexibility in selecting the arrival time for optimal illumination at the landing site. The Centaur stage demonstrated its restart capability by a launch on 26 October 1966, thereby completing its test program.
KeywordsLanding Site Lunar Surface Inertial Guidance System Lunar Orbiter Thrust Axis
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