Encyclopedia Astronautica
Surveyor Block II

American lunar lander. Study 1964. The Surveyor Block II spacecraft was imagined as an unmanned scout that could reconnoiter a specific lunar landing site for Apollo and assist the manned Lunar Module in making a precise touch down.

A number of possible active and passive landing aids were considered, including: a Surveyor deployed transponder; an active radio homing device; a passive radar device (corner reflector); visual markers. In the end the concept, similar to one using the LK and Lunokhod in the Soviet Union, was abandoned.

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...

  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.

Surveyor Block II Chronology

1964 October 23 - .
  • Surveyor Block II study related to the Apollo landing aid problem - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Surveyor Block II. Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed a meeting on October 29 between representatives of NASA Headquarters, Bellcomm, MSC, MIT, and JPL to present the requirements and status of projects underway as they related to the landing aid problem. The Surveyor Block II study effort was concentrating on determining needs of obtaining data on the lunar surface and environment for Apollo. Additional Details: here....

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