Encyclopedia of Lunar Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Brian Cudnik

Surveyor: The Spacecraft

  • Samuel W. (Walt) McCandless
  • Donald R. Montgomery
  • Justin J. Rennilson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05546-6_98-1

Surveyor Pointed the Way to the Moon

Half a century ago, a strange contraption ventured into the frontier of space. It was to make blaze marks along the trail that would at last propel mankind from the confines of earth into the ethereal realm of deep space (JPL, Universe, Surveyor at 20, R.C. House).

The contraption was Surveyor-1. Its primary objective was a soft landing on the Moon. In total, four more of Surveyor-1’s siblings also eased down on the craggy, cratered Moon fulfilling another primary objective – to prepare a way for the eventual landing of astronauts on the Moon.

Its preparation paid off abundantly. When Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder to the surface of the Moon, the late twentieth century had a milestone to eclipse even the earlier invention of manned flight.

And contraption it was, a squat, grotesque tripod with enormous footpads surmounted by a collection of odd-shaped instruments that appeared to have been designed and attached by committee....
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel W. (Walt) McCandless
    • 1
  • Donald R. Montgomery
    • 2
  • Justin J. Rennilson
    • 3
  1. 1.Hughes AircraftSurveryor Project (1960-1969)TucsonUSA
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTechSurveyor Project (1962-1966)AshlandUSA
  3. 3.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTechSurveyor Project (1961-1969)La MesaUSA