The Lunascan Project Moon Shot Series
January 10, 1968

Lunar Orbiter 4 image

Close-up from LO5

The images above are next to the best image we have of Tycho, taken by Lunar Orbiter's 4 & 5. The best, of course, was that taken by Clementine. However, the images above includes the area to the north which includes the landing site for Surveyor 7. Just to the north of Tycho, and to the right of the cluster of craters, the spacecraft soft landed and took some breath-taking images of the lunar terrain. (See chart below for exact location, and below that for the link to NASA's image from Surveyor 7).  Tycho is obviously an impact crater, yet Lunar Orbiter 5 revealed some material with flat, fractured, sparsely cratered surfaces "ponded" or "pooled" in depressions in the rim. Some of the pools were fed by leveed channels and clearly were formed by a very fluid material. 


Southern portion of Section 64

The chart above is only a portion of the Rukl chart for section 64, but graphically shows the location of the Surveyor 7 landing site north of the 85-km Tycho.

Don E. Wilhelms:
"... an even bolder suggestion, apparently arrived at almost unanimously among the experimenters, finally won: the north rim of the crater Tycho in the southern highlands. Here at last was pure terra and Pure Science. There was little chance an Apollo could ever land at Tycho, and none ever did. Surveyor 7 would be the first, and, of course, the last, to combine all three sophisticated devices: the camera, the alpha-scatterer, and the scoop." 

In this awesome image Surveyor 7 scans the Tycho horizon.


Surveyor 7 was the fifth and final spacecraft of the Surveyor series to achieve a lunar soft landing. The objectives for this mission were to: (1) perform a lunar soft landing (in an area well removed from the maria to provide a type of terrain photography and lunar sample significantly different from those of other surveyor missions); (2) obtain postlanding tv pictures; (3) determine the relative abundances of chemical elements; (4) manipulate the lunar material; (5) obtain touchdown dynamics data; and, (6) obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data. This spacecraft was similar in design to the previous Surveyors, but it carried more scientific equipment including a television camera with polarizing filters, an alpha-scattering instrument, a surface sampler, bar magnets on two footpads, two horseshoe magnets on the surface scoop, and auxiliary mirrors. Of the auxiliary mirrors, three were used to observe areas below the spacecraft, one to provide stereoscopic views of the surface sampler area, and seven to show lunar material deposited on the spacecraft. The spacecraft landed on the lunar surface on January 10, 1968, on the outer rim of the crater Tycho. Operations of the spacecraft began shortly after the soft landing and were terminated on January 26, 1968, 80 hours after sunset. Operations on the second lunar day occurred from February 12--21, 1968. The mission objectives were fully satisfied by the spacecraft operations. 


Other Lunar Orbiter Views

For the latest information and images regarding the area were this
spacecraft landed, go to:
Section Directory 64 


Relevant Sites
  Surveyor 7 Spacecraft

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