Ranger 6

Ranger 6
The Ranger Spacecraft GPN-2000-001979.jpg
Ranger 6
Mission typeLunar impactor
Mission duration2.73 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerJet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch mass381 kilograms (840 lb)
Payload mass172 kilograms (379 lb)
Power240 W
Start of mission
Launch dateJanuary 30, 1964, 15:49:00 (1964-01-30UTC15:49Z) UTC
RocketAtlas LV-3 Agena-B 199D/AA8
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-12
Lunar impactor
Impact dateFebruary 2, 1964, 09:24:32 (1964-02-02UTC09:24:33Z) UTC
Impact site9°20′N 21°31′E / 9°20′N 21°31′E / 09.33; 21.52
(Mare Tranquillitatis)

Ranger 6 was a lunar probe in the Ranger program, a robotic spacecraft series launched by NASA in the early and mid-1960s to obtain the first close-up images of the Moon's surface. It was designed to achieve a lunar-impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras - two wide-angle (channel F, cameras A and B) and four narrow-angle (channel P) - to accomplish these objectives. The cameras were arranged in two separate chains, or channels, each self-contained with separate power supplies, timers, and transmitters so as to afford the greatest reliability and probability of obtaining high-quality television pictures. No other experiments were carried on the spacecraft. Due to a failure of the camera system, no images were returned.[1]

Spacecraft design

Rangers 6, 7, 8, and 9 were called Block 3 versions of the Ranger spacecraft. The spacecraft consisted of a hexagonal aluminum frame base 1.5 m across on which was mounted the propulsion and power units, topped by a truncated conical tower which held the TV cameras. Two solar panel wings, each 739 mm wide by 1537 mm long, extended from opposite edges of the base with a full span of 4.6 m, and a pointable high-gain dish antenna was hinge mounted at one of the corners of the base away from the solar panels. A cylindrical quasiomnidirectional antenna was seated on top of the conical tower. The overall height of the spacecraft was 3.6 m.[1]

Propulsion for the mid-course trajectory correction was provided by a 224 N thrust monopropellant hydrazine engine with four jet-vane vector control. Orientation and attitude control about three axes was enabled by twelve nitrogen gas jets coupled to a system of three gyros, four primary Sun sensors, two secondary Sun sensors, and an Earth sensor. Power was supplied by 9,792 silicon solar cells contained in the two solar panels, giving a total array area of 2.3 square meters and producing 200 W. Two 1200 watt-hour AgZnO batteries rated at 26.5 V with a capacity for 9 hours of operation provided power to each of the separate communication/TV camera chains. Two 1000 watt-hour AgZnO batteries stored power for spacecraft operations.[1]

Communications were through the quasiomnidirectional low-gain antenna and the parabolic high-gain antenna. Transmitters aboard the spacecraft included a 60 W TV channel F at 959.52 MHz, a 60 W TV channel P at 960.05 MHz, and a 3 W transponder channel 8 at 960.58 MHz. The telecommunications equipment converted the composite video signal from the camera transmitters into an RF signal for subsequent transmission through the spacecraft high-gain antenna. Sufficient video bandwidth was provided to allow for rapid framing sequences of both narrow- and wide-angle television pictures.[1]

Other Languages
čeština: Ranger 6
Deutsch: Ranger 6
Ελληνικά: Ranger 6
euskara: Ranger 6
فارسی: رنجر ۶
galego: Ranger 6
हिन्दी: रेंजर 6
italiano: Ranger 6
עברית: ריינג'ר 6
Lëtzebuergesch: Ranger 6
magyar: Ranger–6
Nederlands: Ranger 6
occitan: Ranger 6
polski: Ranger 6
português: Ranger 6
русский: Рейнджер-6
svenska: Ranger 6
українська: Рейнджер-6