The United States is scheduled to launch the Ranger VI spacecraft to the moon on Thursday (30 January).
The United States is scheduled to launch the Ranger VI spacecraft to the moon on Thursday (30 January). If all goes well, the Ranger VI will impact on the leading daylight quarter of the moon.
It will send back to earth detailed photographs of the visible surface of the moon. Six videcon television cameras will take detailed photographs of the lunar surface. These photographs will be transmitted back to earth to the giant antenna at Goldstone, California (western U.S.). Some three thousand still pictures will transmitted if all goes well by the three wide angle and three telephoto cameras.
After the Ranger is blasted into space atop an Atlas-Agena combination from Cape Kennedy (southern U.S.) there will be a wait of approximately 66 hours before the spacecraft reaches a point 900 miles above the lunar surface. Then, in the last ten minutes of flight, the three thousand pictures will be taken, and transmitted. Then the Ranger will crash into the moon, presumably destroying itself. Our film gives an advance look at what these pictures are expected to show. A detailed model of the moon has been used to simulate the approach.
The actual pictures, however, will be considerably more useful than any before taken, and will, of course, show considerably more detail than the simulation in our film. The picture will be recorded on photographic film and on magnetic tape so that they can be reproduced for further study. They are expected to provide data on the topography of the moon which will be of the greatest value in efforts to land a man there.