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instrument

ROSALIND FRANKLIN (ROVER)

Target: Mars  
State: Planned

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state

Mission

Kind: Lunar orbiter

State: Successful

Place: Moon

Operator: NASA

Date

Start:

Duration: 339 days

Mission Ending

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." - Jim Henson

Rocket

Rocket: Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D

Kind: NASA

Manufacturer: Langley Research Center

Mass: 385.6 kilograms (850 lb)

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral LC-13

Flyby

"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun

Orbit

Reference System: Selenocentric

1º Orbit: Lunar

Lander

"The journey, not the arrival, matters; the voyage, not the landing." - Paul Theroux



The Lunar Orbiter 2 robotic spacecraft, part of the Lunar Orbiter Program, was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial lunar orbit for data acquisition after 92.6 hours' flight time. The initial orbit was 196 by 1,850 kilometres (122 mi × 1,150 mi) at an inclination of 11.8 degrees. The perilune was lowered to 49.7 kilometres (30.9 mi) five days later after 33 orbits. A failure of the amplifier on the final day of readout, December 7, resulted in the loss of six photographs. On December 8, 1966 the inclination was altered to 17.5 degrees to provide new data on lunar gravity. The spacecraft acquired photographic data from November 18 to 25, 1966, and readout occurred through December 7, 1966. A total of 609 high-resolution and 208 medium-resolution frames were returned, most of excellent quality with resolutions down to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in). These included a spectacular oblique picture of Copernicus crater, which was dubbed by the news media as one of the great pictures of the century. The photo was taken on the 23rd November at an altitude of 45km. Accurate data were acquired from all other experiments throughout the mission. Three micrometeorite impacts were recorded. The spacecraft was used for tracking purposes until it impacted upon the lunar surface on command at 3.0 degrees N latitude, 119.1 degrees E longitude (selenographic coordinates) on October 11, 1967. In 2011, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) was able to locate and image the precise impact point of the spacecraft. The debris from an impact angle of 45 degrees or more spreads out like butterfly wings.

Gallery

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