Aeronautics and Space Report: Highlights 1966: Lunar Orbiter


Note: Lunar Orbiter Segment starts at 1:28
“The Lunar Orbiter program was a series of five unmanned lunar orbiter missions launched by the United States from 1966 through 1967. Intended to help select Apollo landing sites by mapping the Moon’s surface, they provided the first photographs from lunar orbit. All five missions were successful, and 99% of the Moon was mapped from photographs taken with a resolution of 60 meters or better… All Lunar Orbiter craft were launched by an Atlas-Agena D launch vehicle. The Lunar Orbiters had an ingenious imaging system, which consisted of a dual-lens camera, a film processing unit, a readout scanner, and a film handling apparatus. Both lenses, a 610 mm narrow angle high resolution (HR) lens and an 80 mm wide angle medium resolution (MR) lens, placed their frame exposures on a single roll of 70 mm film… The film was then processed, scanned, and the images transmitted back to Earth. During the Lunar Orbiter missions, the first pictures of Earth as a whole were taken, beginning with Earth-rise over the lunar surface by Lunar Orbiter 1 in August, 1966.”

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