What Was NASA’s First Spacecraft To Land On the Moon and What Was the Purpose of Surveyor 1?

No one had ever landed on the Moon, and in 1961, when NASA’s Surveyor program began, some thought no one could.

Controlling a safe landing on the Moon was critical to sending anyone up there.

Surveyor 1 was launched on May 30, 1966, and became the first U.S. spacecraft to make a controlled landing on the Moon.

Surveyor 1 touched down safely about 9 miles (15 km) from its programmed landing site.

The Surveyor 1 program was under the management of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, utilizing spacecraft designed and built by Hughes Aircraft.

The spacecraft made a soft landing in the Ocean of Storms and was fitted with a TV camera that transmitted 11,237 images to earth.