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From the Archives: Cheers for Surveyor 1 at Caltech

June 2, 1966: California Institute of Technology scientists and engineers reacting to news that Surv
June 2, 1966: Scientists and engineers at the Caltech lab whoop it up after word was flashed that Surveyor 1 was on the moon.
(Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times)

Launched on May 30, 1966, Surveyor 1 landed on the moon on June 2, 1966. This successful soft landing was the first for an American space vehicle. It occurred four months after the Soviet Union’s Luna 9 landing.

Staff writer Richard West reported the next morning, “The Surveyor 1 spacecraft Thursday televised to earth 144 superb pictures of the moon that proved the feasibility of the U.S. plan for placing astronauts on the lunar surface. “

Surveyor 1 transmitted over 11,000 images of the lunar surface back to earth. Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab managed the Surveyor program.

1966: Shadow of Surveyor 1 on the moon. Surveyor 1 was launched on May 30, 1966 and landed on the m
1966: Shadow of Surveyor 1 on the moon. In addition to transmitting thousands of phtotographs, the craft sent information on the bearing strength of the lunar soil, the radar reflectivity and temperature. NASA
Surveyor I was launched on May 31, 1966, landed on the Moon June 2, and sent back more than 11,000 p
Artist drawing of Surveyor I on the lunar surface. This image was created by Hughes Aircraft artist Carlos Lopez and used in a Surveyor poster. Carlos Lopez / Hughes Aircraft / NASA

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