Ranger Spacecraft Impact on Moon
This excerpt from "NASA: The 25th Year" shows the final sequence of images from one of the successful Ranger spacecraft that impacted the Moon 1964-1965. The Ranger spacecraft were designed to fly straight down towards the Moon and send images back until the moment of impact. The first six Ranger missions failed for various reasons. Ranger 7, 8 and 9 successfully returned images prior to impacting the Moon. Ranger was the first US mission to reach the lunar surface. The Russian spacecraft Luna 2 was the first ever to reach the lunar surface (also via destructive impact) on September 14, 1959. Luna 2 carried instruments but no camera.