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Kind: Lunar impactor

State: Successful

Place: Moon

Operator: NASA

Instruments: 1) Television camera, 2) Gamma ray spectrometer, 3) Radar altimeter, 4) Seismometer,



Duration: Launch to last scientific data transmitted 1.405 days, launch day to official mission end day 5 days

Mission Ending

Last Contact: Last scientific data transmitted between 12:52 and 1:33 a.m. EST, January 28, 1962


Rocket: Atlas LV-3B Agena-B

Kind: NASA

Manufacturer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mass: 329.8 kilograms (727 lb)

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral LC-12


"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun


Reference System: Heliocentric


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

Ranger 3 was a space exploration mission conducted by NASA to study the Moon. The Ranger 3 robotic spacecraft was launched January 26, 1962 as part of the Ranger program. Due to a series of malfunctions, the spacecraft missed the Moon by 22,000 mi (35,000 km) and entered a heliocentric orbit. The Ranger 3 space probe was designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to impacting on the Moon, to rough-land a seismometer capsule on the Moon, to collect gamma-ray data in flight, to study radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, and to continue testing of the Ranger program for development of lunar and interplanetary spacecraft.