Apollo 11 us flag on moon 001

American Lunar Explorations

By 200634
  • Pioneer 4 Flyby

    Pioneer 4 Flyby
    Pioneer 4Pioneer 4 became the first US probe to exit the Earth's gravity. It came within 60,000 km of the moon's surface. The probe remained in orbit until 1969.
  • Ranger 4 Impact

    Ranger 4 Impact
    Ranger 4The Ranger 4 impacted with the far side of the moon, yet due to onboard computer failure it retrieved no data. It was designed to trasmit pictures of the Lunar surface to Earth. The total costs for all the aspects of the mission totalled to 170 million dollars.
  • Surveyor 1 Lander

    Surveyor 1 Lander
    Surveyor 1Surveyor 1 was the first soft landing on the moon by the United States. The mission was seen as a complete success due to the craft functioning properly. The technology used on Surveyor became an example of the proper technology needed to achieve successful Lunar operations.
  • Lunar Orbiter 1

    Lunar Orbiter 1
    Lunar Orbiter 1
    This craft was designed specifically to retrieve photographs of possible landing spots for future landers. Also, it had the ability to collect other data such as radiation intensity. This was the first craft of the Lunar Orbiter program which in total photographed 99% of the moon's surface.
  • Apollo 8 Crewed Orbiter

    Apollo 8 Crewed Orbiter
    Apollo 8 MissionThree men were aboard Apollo 8, Frank Borman, James A Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders. This was the first spacecraft to leave the Earth's gravity with a crew aboard. It succceeded in gaining operational experience and tet=sting the Apollo command module systems.
  • Apollo 11 Crewed Landing

    Apollo 11 Crewed Landing
    Apollo 11Apollo 11 became one of the most significant US space operations in history. Aboard the craft was Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., commonly called Buzz, Michael Collins, and Neil Armstrong, who was the first man to ever step foot on the moon. The craft landed in Mare Tranquilitatis and the mission is praised nationally for having beat the Soviets in the race to walk on the moon.
  • Apollo 12 Crewed Landing

    Apollo 12 Crewed Landing
    Apollo 12Less than a year after the first successful crewed landing, another Apollo craft was sent to the moon and landed on the Oceanus Procellarum. The craft was called the Yankee Clipper and featured a furnished command module and a service module at the end. The crew consisted of Charles Conrad Jr, Richard F Gordan, and Alan L. Bean.
  • Apollo 13 Aborted Crewed Landing

    Apollo 13 Aborted Crewed Landing
    The Apollo 13 Accident56 hours into the Apollo 13 mission, a major malfunction was caused by the rupture of oxygen tank no. 2 and explosion in the service module. The explosion in the no. 2 tank caused damage to the valve in the no. 1 oxygen tank and oxygen began to deplete rapidly. The three men aboard had to resort to using the Lunar Module which was only intended to support two men for two days.
  • Apollo 14

    Apollo 14
    Apollo 14 MissionThe entire crew involved with Apollo 14 was very cautious in the build and execution of the mission due to the Apollo 13 disaster. Aboard the craft was Alan Shepard Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchell. Revisions to the technology allowed this mission to be successful and return with lunar material and very significant data.
  • Explorer 49 (RAE-B)

    Explorer 49 (RAE-B)
    RAE-BFollowing the final craft in the Apollo program came Explorer 49, otherwise known as the radio astronomy explorer B. This was the second pair of RAE satellites and was used to obtain the planet's astronomical measurements by utilizing radio frequency. The technology had massive antennas in the shape of an x to help capture the data.
  • Clementine Orbiter

    Clementine Orbiter
    Clementine (1994)After more than twenty years of no American lunar exploration, the Clementine was placed in orbit. This craft obtained data and mapped the lunar surface using different resolutions and wavelengths. The craft stayed functional until exiting lunar orbit on May 3. Clementine was very successful due to the fact that it had 5 imaging systems on board.
  • AsiaSat 3/ HGS-1 Lunar Flyby

    AsiaSat 3/ HGS-1 Lunar Flyby
    AsiaSat 3
    Launched on Christmas eve, AsiaSat 3 was a satellite used for communications by Hong Kong. It's main purpose was for television distribution. Due to a malfunction in the craft, it had a a dysfunctional orbit and a short period of time in space.
  • Lunar Prospector Orbiter

    Lunar Prospector Orbiter
    Lunar Prospector
    The Lunar Prospector successfully kept a low polar orbit of the moon and retrieved data relating to surface composition, polar ice, and magnetic fields. Its mission lasted a total of 19 months. The total cost of the mission was 62.8 million dollars.
  • LCROSS Orbiter and Impactor

    LCROSS Orbiter and Impactor
    unar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) LCROSS is an acronym for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. The main purpose of the craft is to research the unknown prescense of water within the moon's craters. The LCROSS mission was managed by the Ames Research Center, and their primary goal is to locate natural resources on the moon.
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)One of the more recent lunar explorations is from the craft LRO, which is the first mission of NASA's Robotic Lunar Exploration Program. Its main purpose is to characterize possible future landing sites and recover data regarding to lunar surface. The total cost for this mission reaches around 460 million dollars.
  • Gravity Recovery and Interior Labratory Orbiter

    Gravity Recovery and Interior Labratory Orbiter
    Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory-A (GRAIL)The most recent American lunar exploration mission was the Gravity Recovery and Interior Labratory, called A-GRAIL. Its objective is to recover data relating to the interior of the moon, and thermal evolution, this is much different from the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter. The craft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force station.