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Ranger program
The Ranger program was a series of unmanned space missions by the United States in the 1960s whose objective was to obtain the first close-up images of the surface of the Moon. The Ranger spacecraft were designed to take images of the lunar surface, returning those images until they were destroyed upon impact. A series of mishaps, however, led to the failure of the first six flights...
Timeline of Events
1962
1.26.1962
Ranger program: Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later misses the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km).
1964
1.30.1964
Ranger program: Ranger 6 is launched.
7.31.1964
Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
1965
2.17.1965
Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the ''Mare Tranquillitatis'' region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. ''Mare Tranquillitatis'' or the "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
3.21.1965
Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9 which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.