On Wednesday (February 17) the United States is scheduled to fire the Ranger Eight, a space ship designed to photograph the surface of the moon.
On Wednesday (February 17) the United States is scheduled to fire the Ranger Eight, a space ship designed to photograph the surface of the moon. Ranger Seven, which struck the moon on 31 July 1964 sent back high resolution pictures of the lunar surface. The National Aeronautics and Space Agency has just released a film made from those pictures showing the approach to the lunar surface.
The film, prepared by the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, consists essentially of a series of consecutive photographs of the moon's surface taken as the Ranger Seven approached. By careful selection of photographs and careful rephotographing, the camera appears to be zooming in to the lunar surface. The effect is similar to what an observer or live television camera in the Ranger would have seen.
There are two coverages of the approach. One shows it as seen by the "A" camera, which was equipped with wide angle lenses. It photographed an area approaching the size of Texas and California. The other shows the coverage provided by the narrow angle "B" camera which photographed an area approaching the size of New York State.
Our film shows the areas covered by the various cameras, as well as some views of a collection of the moon pictures. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where those scenes were made, designed and built the Ranger space ships, and carried out the scientific work in connection with them, including the receipt of the lunar pictures.