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This Week in Astronomy History: April 19-25

19 Apr 2021, 23:22 UTC
This Week in Astronomy History: April 19-25
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Photo: The view through the window of the Lunar Module Orion shortly after Apollo 16’s landing on the surface of the Moon | NASA
April 20, 1967: Surveyor 3 soft-lands on the Moon
Surveyor 3, shot by the Apollo 12 astronauts over two years after its mission ended | NASA
Surveyor 3 was the third lander of NASA’s Surveyor program sent to explore the surface of the Moon in 1967, as well as the first to collect a sample of surface soil. The lander was launched on April 17, 1967, and it soft-landed on the Moon three days later on April 20, 1967, as planned. Once on the Moon’s surface, Surveryor 3 gathered a scoop of lunar soil and held it in front of its television cameras so it could be photographed and analyzed back on Earth. Its mission lasted a total of 16 days before mission control lost contact. Surveyor 3 was later visited by Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean in November of 1969, who excised several components of the lander and returned them to Earth for study.
John W. Young on the Moon during Apollo 16 mission | NASA
April 20, 1972: Apollo 16 lands ...

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