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Which space probe has successfully transmitted photos of the lunar surface?




Answer: Ranger 7

Today, with advanced technology such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter platform, we take high-resolution photos and a stunning video of the moon for granted. However, just over half a century ago we had not been able to get an intimate and close photo of the moon. All this changed in the 1960s.

In July 1964, NASA launched Ranger 7 on board an Atlas Agena B rocket. Ranger 7 was a lunar probe with a unique mission, and for the next three days she shot through space toward the moon, waiting to take action. As Ranger 7 approached the Moon on July 31

, 1964, the swarm of still and video cameras on board set out to capture images and transmit them to Earth, which relayed images to the moment of impact. You can read some of these photos here.

Ranger 7 was followed by Ranger 8 and Ranger 9, respectively. The overall cache of images from the three successful test missions provided 17,000 photos with previously unseen resolution and clarity.

Image courtesy of NASA.


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