Each Surveyor spacecraft carried a television camera, and more than 86,000 70-mm pictures were obtained at very high resolution (to 1 mm). This photography provided information on the nature of the surface terrain in the immediate vicinity of the spacecraft as well as the number, distribution, and sizes of the craters and boulders in the area. In addition to lunar terrain studies, the photography supported investigations of soil mechanics, magnetic properties, and composition of the surface material.
Lunar Surface Mechanical Properties
Mechanical property estimates are the result of interpretations of landing telemetry data and television pictures as noted above. Measurements from strain gauges mounted on the spacecraft landing gear were analyzed. The surface sampler, flown on Surveyor 3 and Surveyor 7, also obtained data on mechanical properties. To study soil erosion effects and to determine soil properties, the vernier engines and attitude jets were operated after the landings and the results observed with the television camera. This type of scientific investigation continued during the Apollo missions, with Apollo crews radioing observational information during landing, the impact of rocket exhaust with the surface produced dust clouds, trench digging, and providing core samples for study back on Earth.