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vernier-engine

Surveyor 2

Surveyor 2 was the second American lunar lander in the Surveyor program that explored the Moon.

A mid-course correction failure resulted in the spacecraft tumbling and losing control. The spacecraft was targeted at Sinus Medii, but crashed near Copernicus crater.

This spacecraft was the second of a series designed to achieve a soft landing on the moon and to return lunar surface photography for determining characteristics of the lunar terrain for Apollo lunar landing missions. It was also equipped to return data on radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, bearing strength of the lunar surface, and spacecraft temperatures for use in the analysis of lunar surface temperatures. The target area proposed was within Sinus Medii. The Atlas-Centaur had placed Surveyor 2 on a path to the moon that was only 130 km from its aim point. During the midcourse correction maneuver, one vernier engine failed to ignite, resulting in an unbalanced thrust that caused the spacecraft to tumble. Attempts to salvage the mission failed. Contact was lost with the spacecraft at 9:35 UTC, September 22. The spacecraft impacted the lunar surface at 03:18 UTC, September 23, 1966.

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