What Was the Last Lunar Lander of the Surveyor Program To Explore the Surface of the Moon and When?

Surveyor 7, launched on January 6, 1968, was the fifth and final spacecraft of in NASA’s Surveyor program to achieve a lunar soft landing.

The spacecraft carried out equipments to test the Moon’s soil.

Surveyor 7 scooped up lunar dust and rocks, and performed more than fifteen experiments on the soil, including tests to determine the amount of weight the surface could support.

The official mission objectives for the Surveyor 7 mission were to:

  • perform a lunar soft landing (in an area well removed from the maria to provide a type of terrain photography and lunar sample significantly different from those of other surveyor missions)
  • obtain postlanding tv pictures.
  • determine the relative abundances of chemical elements.
  • manipulate the lunar material.
  • obtain touchdown dynamics data.
  • obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data.

A total of 21,091 pictures were transmitted to Earth by Surveyor 7.

The spacecraft landed near the large lunar crater Tycho, named after the famous astronomer, and is visible to the naked eye from Earth.