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The Surveyor Lunar Roving Vehicle, Plans for a rover to accompany Surveyor
Phil Stooke
post Dec 16 2005, 06:33 PM
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Yes, we have a good idea where to look. 0.3 degrees N, 1.62 degrees W, which assumes a nominal landing but loss of telemetry (from the Surveyor Program final report). More likely it crashed nearby.

This area is just outside the high resolution Lunar Orbiter coverage so there is no pre-impact high resolution coverage. It might be covered by Apollo 10 Hasselblad images VERY near the terminator - lots of areas lost in shadow. But they would be nowhere near detailed enough to identify the impact crater or (even more so) a landed spacecraft. Clementine images would be useless for this - far too low resolution. However, imaging such sites is a goal of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Even so it's not certain it could be identified without good pre-impact imaging.

You are, though, mistaken in thinking that NASA might have an interest in looking for it. NASA is purely an engineering organization. This sort of search, with no value other than historical, is only of interest to people like me.

Phil


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dvandorn
post Dec 16 2005, 11:10 PM
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Well, certainly such things are of interest to me, and I'm sure to many people who visit and post to this forum. But, then again, I guess we all rather fit the definition of "people like you," Phil.

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-the other Doug


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 16 2005, 11:31 PM
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Contact was lost instantaneously at exactly the time (2 seconds before retro burnout) when the burndown of fuel would have allowed one of the seamed sections of propellant glued to the sides of the combustion chamber to peel loose and get sucked into the nozzle, causing the motor to explode -- so the betting is that that is what happened to it. But as with Mars Observer and MPL, there still are other possibilities (explosion of a gas tank or a shock absorber, power line coming loose, etc.) -- and one of those possibilities is that the transmitter's connecting line failed at that point. I admit I'd still be interested in finding out, and maybe LRO will tell us.
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Bob Shaw
post Dec 17 2005, 12:10 AM
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Hopefully, when Apollo-On-Steroids comes to pass, there'll be a SIM-Bay-On-Steroids in the CEV SM which will routinely save multi megapixel images of the surface with said data being returned to Earth (without an EVA) simply by dumping onto dedicated data recorders within the return vehicle. That would make all previous survey vehicles fade into obscurity, and at minimal extra cost.

Bob Shaw


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edstrick
post Dec 17 2005, 06:24 AM
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Bob Shaw: "Hopefully, when Apollo-On-Steroids comes to pass, there'll be a SIM-Bay-On-Steroids in the CEV SM which will routinely save multi megapixel images of the surface ...."

Actually, dedicated orbiters will be far more useful. If you want something like 10 centimeter resolution imagery of selected lunar surface areas, you're talking about a serious camera, even in low 15 km constantly-trimmed-to-keep-from-crashing orbit. Note that the orbital photographic mapping on Apollo 17 was nearly wasted since the orbit nearly duplicated the Apollo 15 orbit, other than being at an earlier time of the month, while the coverage on Apollo 16 was limited to areas very very close to the equator, so the groundtrack barely varied as the Moon rotated under the orbit.

Actually, there is real engineering reason to rephotograph landing and impact sites. The bigger the statistical sample we get of recent, low velocity (compared with meteorites) impact craters on the moon, the better we understand the structure and mechanical properties of the lunar regolith to depths below where we drilled.
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ljk4-1
post Jan 23 2006, 06:17 PM
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Surveyor: Landing Radar Test Program Review Final Report

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._1967028593.pdf

and

Surveyor Spacecraft System - Surveyor 2 Flight Performance Final Report

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._1968009188.pdf


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"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

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ljk4-1
post Mar 19 2006, 02:34 AM
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Some very interesting photos of a Surveyor test here:

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/vaul...eyor/index.html

It would not surprise me if a hiker coming upon such a test
back then might first mistake it for an alien landing.

Theses images include a group set of how the instruments
on all the Surveyors became more complex with each mission:

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/vaul...yorb/index.html

Photos and diagrams of the Surveyor 3 scoop:

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/vaul...pler/index.html


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 20 2006, 02:09 AM
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We mustn't forget that a footpad magnet was first carried on Surveyor 4, that a second one was added to Footpad #3 on Surveyor 7 (although neither of them touched the soil, and the surface sampler wan't positioned to pour dirt on the footpad for Surveyor 7 as it was for numbers 3 and 4), that there were also two small magnets on the surface sampler scoop door for Surveyor 7, and that there were two frame mirrors starting on #3 to allow views of the surface underneath the craft -- and a third starting with #6 to provide a view of the surface onto which the alpha-scatter instrument would then be lowered. Finally, they switched over from color to polarizing filters starting with #6.

Actually, after the failure of Ranger 5, the alpha-scatter instrument, magnets and camera filters were the ONLY instruments put on ANY unmanned US Moon probes -- except for the two attempts at lunar-orbiting Explorers -- that weren't totally connected with studies necessary for the Apollo landings. As I've said before, it's a pity that they didn't put a copy of the Ranger gamma-ray spectrometer on Lunar Orbiter 5 -- as they would have put it on #6 if that mission had been flown.
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edstrick
post Mar 20 2006, 08:15 AM
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Note that all 5 Lunar Orbiters carried two small but technically significant engineering instruments.

Radiation dosimeters recorded the ionizing radiation flux to monitor dosage for possible film-fogging problems. Data from the instruments provided confidence that modeled radiation exposure probabilities for Apollo astronauts were likely reasonably accurate.

More scientificaly interesting, each Orbiter carried a set of meteoroid impact penetration cells, similar to those carried on the Pegasus spacecraft in low Earth orbit and Pioneeds 10 and 11 past Jupiter and Saturn. I think there is one of those NASA-CR (green covered) series Contractors Report summarising results from those measurements. Not much data with low statistics, but very reassuring to know approximately what was or more importantly was NOT there.

AIMP (Anchored Interplanetary Monitoring Platform) Explorer 33 (I think I have the numbers right) was mis-launched by a small amount (I think with a low apoapsis) and was not able to make lunar orbit. Explorer 35 was entirely successful and operated for several years in lunar orbit providing the first really good set of particles and fields data at the Moon.

Also lunar orbiting, but utterly not-lunar-oriented, was the low frequency Radio Astronomy Explorer with L-O-N-G dipole antennas. It used or attempted to use lunar occultatin to identify distant low frequency sources, together with distance from Earth's radio noise. I never heard much science from the mission and what I did wasn't that impressive, but it did fly.
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Bob Shaw
post Mar 20 2006, 01:08 PM
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I wonder whether the Radio Astronomy Explorer is still in Lunar orbit? As I recall, it was in a high orbit, unlike practically all the rest of the spacecraft which have entered Lunar orbit (it also had h-u-g-e wire antennae).

Bob Shaw


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gndonald
post Mar 20 2006, 04:51 PM
Post #26


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QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Mar 20 2006, 09:08 PM) *
I wonder whether the Radio Astronomy Explorer is still in Lunar orbit? As I recall, it was in a high orbit, unlike practically all the rest of the spacecraft which have entered Lunar orbit (it also had h-u-g-e wire antennae).

Bob Shaw


I have attempted to determine this from what I would consider to be the best sources available, namely the NASA homepage and Astronautix.com. However, I have not been able to resolve the question. What I have found is the basic information on the craft itself.

The information I have found is as follows:

1. R.A.E Data from Astronautix.com

2. Nasa Projects Homepage

I will do a further search and see what, if anything I can dig up.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 20 2006, 05:55 PM
Post #27





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Yeah, Ed Strick was right about all the Lunar Orbiter instruments -- but they were Apollo-related (or, in the case of the radiation detectors, also used to measure radiation fogging on the photos).

As for Explorer 33: its Delta actually launched it too FAST to intercept the Moon (since it had no midcourse motor), so they immediately fired its orbital-insertion retromotor to put it into an elongated Earth orbit rather than having it go into solar orbit. It was hardly a total scientific loss -- they just added it to the regular IMP Earth-orbiting network.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Mar 20 2006, 08:51 PM
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Oops. Ed already mentioned the L.O. radiation detectors being an integral part of the photography package. Sorry.
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gndonald
post Mar 21 2006, 03:06 PM
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Found a little additional information on the lunar orbiting Radio Astronomy Explorer (Explorer 49). It's at the NSSDC Spacecraft Database and includes basic information on the spacecraft, the instruments fitted and most importantly an email address for further information.

Hope this helps.
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ljk4-1
post Mar 21 2006, 08:16 PM
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Microbiological Burden on the Surfaces of Explorer XXXIII

http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender...ubmedid=6053173


Interim flight report, Anchored Interplanetary Monitoring Platform AIMP I - Explorer XXXIII

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._1967009370.pdf


To put it in layperson's terms, Explorer 49's antennae were longer than the
Empire State Building.

Integration plan for the Radio Astronomy Explorer /RAE/ spacecraft

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntr..._1967024524.pdf


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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