Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

Surveyor 3

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United States

Surveyor 3 was launched on 17 April 1967 and landed in Oceanus Procellarum on 20 April 1967. The mission's objectives were to soft land on the Moon and collect information on the properties of the lunar regolith to prepare for the upcoming Apollo missions. Surveyor 3 carried a television camera system (which ultimately returned 6326 images) and a soil mechanics surface sampling device (which operated for over 18 hours) to test the properties of the lunar surface. During the Apollo 12 mission, Astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed near Surveyor 3 in on 19 November 1969 and returned some of the components of the Surveyor 3 spacecraft to Earth for engineering analysis. In the Surveyor 3 images, the Apollo 12 Lunar Module is clearly visible at the northwest edge of Surveyor Crater and, in the right lighting conditions, the tracks of the Apollo 12 astronauts are also clearly visible.


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