Orbiters for science
In March 1967 the Surveyor/Orbiter Utilisation Committee agreed that since the first three Lunar Orbiter missions had achieved that project’s commitment in support of Apollo, the next should “perform a broad systematic photographic survey of lunar surface features in order to increase scientific knowledge of their nature, origin and processes, and to serve as a basis for selecting sites for more detailed scientific study by subsequent orbital and landing missions”. This plan had been conceived at the Summer Study on Lunar Exploration and Science held in Falmouth, Massachusetts, between 19 and 31 July 1965, in the hope that the opportunity to undertake it would arise. The primary objective was to obtain contiguous coverage of at least 80 per cent of the near-side of the Moon at a resolution better than 100 metres. In fact, if the project’s priority had not been to reconnoitre specific areas in support of Apollo, the scientists would have started by mapping on a global basis.
KeywordsLunar Orbiter Lunar Exploration Isostatic Equilibrium Secondary Crater Landing Mission
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