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  • Current events for March 21, 2018
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    Events in space history for 03/21:
    • Launch of Ranger IX, 21:36 UT (1965).

        (The following is from "NASA, The First 25 Years 1958-1983: A Resource for Teachers" published by NASA and printed by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1983, p. 96.)

        RANGER

        The Ranger program was a probe series to transmit close-up black and white photographs of the Moon before crashing into the lunar surface. Three of the nine Rangers (7, 8, 9) were successful. Rangers 1 through 5 experienced technical problems which affected the success of the missions: the launch vehicles malfunctioned for Rangers 1 and 2, Rangers 3 and 5 missed the Moon, and Ranger 4 landed on the back side of the Moon and returned no data.

        Ranger 7, 8, and 9 findings: A gently rolling terrain with no sharp relief; and a layer of powdery rubble, with rocks and craters down to at least one meter in diameter everywhere.

        Ranger 6

        January 30-February 2, 1964. Lunar impact point of hard landing within 32 km (20 mi) of target; TV system failed to operate.

        Ranger 7

        July 28-31, 1964. First successful Ranger mission; 4,316 high resolution TV pictures of the lunar surface were returned, with objects less than .9m (3 ft) discernible; impact on Sea of Clouds 13-16 km (8-10 mi) from aim point; flight time: 68 hours, 36 minutes.

        Ranger 8

        February 17-20, 1965. 7,137 pictures returned from Sea of Tranquillity; flight time: 64 hours, 63 minutes.

        Ranger 9

        March 21-24, 1965. 5,814 pictures of Crater Alphonsus and vicinity returned; 4.8 km (3 mi) from target; flight time: 64 hours, 31 minutes.

    • A bear became the first creature to be ejected at supersonic speeds (1962).
     
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