The Lunascan Project Moon Shot Series
July 31, 1964


Cropped Apollo image: AS16-5430(P)


The above Apollo image highlights three interesting areas, but the item we are interested in specifically is the upper left rectangle. The Rukl Chart below illustrates it perfectly. Ranger 7 impacted near the SE corner.


South central Section 42

Impact crater formed by Ranger 7


The image above is an enlargement  (approximately 15x)  of the same panoramic camera photograph (AS16-5430(P)) showing a crater (arrow) formed in Mare Cognitum by the impact of the Ranger 7 spacecraft. 

Following an oblique trajectory, Ranger 7 struck the lunar surface on July 31, 1964, while traveling at a velocity of 2.65 km/s. The resulting crater is about 14 meters across. Its bright ejecta blanket contrasts with the generally dark blanket around the S-4-B crater and is more typical of natural lunar impact craters.

Report on impact site

Lunar Orbiter Views
None found 

For the latest information and images regarding the area were this
spacecraft landed, go to:
Section 42 Directory

           Ranger 7 Spacecraft Images:
(smaller image)
Full resolution 465k gif , Ranger 7, A001
Second image of the Moon taken by the Ranger 7 spacecraft on 31 July 1964. Ranger 7 was the first U.S. spacecraft to successfully transmit images of the lunar surface back to Earth. This image was taken 17.2 minutes before impact from a distance of 2158 km. North is at 12:30. Mare Nubium is at lower right and Mare Humorum at lower left. The image is centered at 13 S, 330 E and is about 950 km across. The Ranger 7 impact site, at 10.7 S, 339.3 E, is at the center of the upper right quadrant, in Mare Cognitum. Landsberg crater is against the top of the frame at center, and the 60 km diameter Bullialdus crater is just below and right of center, partly obscured by a hash mark.
(smaller image)
Full resolution 454k gif, Ranger 7, A100Ranger
7 image of Mare Nubium taken 8.5 minutes before impact from 1170 km. 60 km diameter Bullialdus crater is at bottom center and 43 km Lubiniezky is just above it to the left. The small crater below and right of the central reticle is Darney. The Fra Mauro region is in the upper right corner and Montes Riphaeus are the white arc near the top center of the image. The impact point is midway between the reticle right of the center and the one above it. North is up.
(smaller image)
Full resolution 486k gif, Ranger 7, A199Final
image taken by Ranger 7 camera A before impact at 10.59 S, 20.68 W. This image was taken from a distance of 6.5 km only 2.5 seconds before impact. The frame  is about 2.7 km across and north is up. The impact point is just above and right of the central reticle. At this high resolution (about 5 meters) the flat floor of Mare Nubium was shown to be peppered with small impact craters.
(smaller image)
Full resolution, 533k, Ranger 7, B001Ranger
7 took this image, the first picture of the Moon by a U.S. spacecraft, on 31 July 1964 at 13:09 UT (9:09 AM EDT) about 17 minutes before impacting the lunar surface. The area photographed is centered at 13 S, 10 W and covers about 360 km from top to bottom. The large crater at center right is the 108 km diameter Alphonsus. Above it is Ptolemaeus and below it Arzachel. The terminator is at the bottom right corner. Mare Nubium is at center and left. North is at about 11:00 at the center of the frame. The Ranger 7 impact site is off the frame, to the left of the upper left corner.
(smaller image)
Full resolution, 491k gif, Ranger 7, B100Ranger
7 B-camera image of Guericke crater (11.5 S, 14.1 W, diameter 63 km) taken from a distance of 1335 km. The dark flat floor of Mare Nubium dominates most of the image, which was taken 8.5 minutes before Ranger 7 impacted the Moon on 31 July 1964. The frame is about 230 km across and north is at 12:30. The impact site is off the frame to the left.
(smaller image)
Full resolution, 460k gif of Ranger 7,_b200.gif
Ranger 7 camera-B image taken 5 seconds before impact on 31 July 1964. The image was taken from a distance of 14.71 km and shows the floor of Mare Nubium. The frame is about 2.8 km across and shows features as small as approximately 5 meters. The impact site is off this image to the upper left.
(smaller image)
Full resolution 475k of Ranger 7, P001First
P-camera images taken by Ranger 7. The images are numbered by camera (clockwise from upper left) P3, P4, P2, P1. All images were taken from a distance of about 1870 km about 13.5 minutes before impact. Frame P3 shows Guericke crater (diameter 63 km) at the upper right. P4 also shows Guericke at right center. Image P1 is 41 km across and shows the floor of Mare Nubium north of Opelt crater. The bottom of frame P2 overlaps the upper right corner of P1. P2 is about 40 km across. North is at 12:30 in all four images.
(smaller image)
Full resolution 421k gif of Ranger 7, P100
Four Ranger 7 P-camera images showing part of the floor of Mare Nubium near the impact site. The images are ordered by camera (clockwise from upper left) P3, P4, P2, P1. The images were taken from 250 km about 90 seconds before impact P3 and P4 overlap over most of the image, each one is about 15 km across. Image P1 overlaps the lower left corner of P4, and the bottom of P2 overlaps the top of P1. Frames P1 and P2 are about 5.5 km across. North is at 12:30.
(smaller image)
Full resolution 235 k of Ranger 7_p200.gif
The final two images taken by Ranger 7 before its impact on the Moon's surface. These image were taken by the number 1 and 3 P-channel cameras at 0.39 and 0.19 s before impact from an altitude of 1070 and 519 meters, respectively. The pictures are cut off because the spacecraft impacted the surface before completing the transmission. The top image was taken by the P3 camera and the bottom image by P1. The P3 image is about 25 m across. North is at 12:30 for both images. The impact occurred on 31 July 1964 at 13:25:48.82 UT.

Relevant Sites:
 NSSDC Image Catalog: Ranger 7
 The Spacecraft

This web page was created by Francis Ridge for The Lunascan Project

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