Site Selection

From the standpoint of the Apollo program, NASA planners desired an initial target area to be one of typical mare and near the lunar equator. The selected region was a relatively detached sea between Ocean of Storms and Sea of Clouds, bounded by the Riphean Mountains on one side and the bright cratered area containing Guericke Crater and Parry-Bonpland Crater on the other.

Mission Description

Launch: July 28, 1964. Impacted Moon: July 31, 1964, at 13:25:49 UT. Landing Site: Mare Cognitum (The Sea that has Become Known), 10.35°S lat., 339.42°E long.

The mission objective of Ranger 7 was carried out flawlessly by obtaining close – up pictures of the lunar surface for the benefit of both the scientific community and the Apollo program planning. Ranger 7 transmitted approximately 4,000 television pictures of the target area before smashing itself in the lunar surface. The signals from the six television cameras aboard the spacecraft were transmitted during the last 17 minutes of the flight. The picture taking spanned a distance range from slightly more than 1,800 miles to approximately 500 yards above the surface.

Fig. 10.12 Photo Sequence taken by Ranger 8 p camera approaching the Moon. Courtesy of NASA

•ОцЦрМИЙі

Site Selection

The basic objective in selecting the Ranger 8 impact site was to choose an area which, in conjunction with the Ranger 7 photographs, would provide a more com­plete knowledge of the lunar maria within the Moon’s equatorial zone. Applying the newly evolving Apollo constraints, a point near the equator and 15° from the termi­nator was chosen.

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