November 1966 Archives

Lunar Orbiter II Mission

The Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data.

The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial lunar orbit for data acquisition after 92.5 hours flight time. The initial orbit was 196 by 1,850 kilometres (122 1,150 mi) at an inclination of 11.8 degrees. The perilune was lowered to 49.7 kilometres (30.9 mi) five days later after 33 orbits. A failure of the amplifier on the final day of readout, December 7, resulted in the loss of six photographs. On December 8, 1966 the inclination was altered to 17.5 degrees to provide new data on lunar gravity.

Lunar Orbiter 2 Mission

Alternate Names: Lunar Orbiter-B, 02534
Launch Date: 1966-11-06
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Agena D
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 385.6 kg
Nominal Power: 375.0 W
Launch/Orbital information for Lunar Orbiter 2
Experiments on Lunar Orbiter 2
Data collections from Lunar Orbiter 2

Description

The Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial lunar orbit for data acquisition after 92.5 hours flight time. The initial orbit was 196 km x 1850 km at an inclination of 11.8 degrees. The perilune was lowered to 49.7 km five days later after 33 orbits. A failure of the amplifier on the final day of readout, 7 December, resulted in the loss of six photographs. On 8 December 1966 the inclination was altered to 17.5 degrees to provide new data on lunar gravity.

Boeing Lunar Orbiter Personnel

1966; Boeing employees manning a tracking station near Madrid. From left, Les Kaldor, Jim Currier, Don Fries, Andy Andreas Have, Pat Fiest and Jack Keith, Bendix engineer.

Larger image

In foreground: Pat Fiest, left, and Don Fries, both Boeing engineers from Seattle. At rear, from left, Les Holgersen, Les Kaldor and John Graham.

Larger image

Lunar Orbiter 2 Postal Covers


Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Photo: Liftoff of Lunar Orbiter II on 6 November 1966

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