June 2 1966 – Surveyor 1 the US Space Probe Lands on the Moon
Surveyor 1, the earliest of the seven robotic surveyor space crafts, sent to the lunar surface to collect data for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo missions, landed on the moon on June 2, 1966 at 6:17 hours UTC. Surveyor 1 became the first spacecraft to make a true soft landing on the lunar surface. The Apollo moon missions were manned missions to the moon which commenced in 1969. The Surveyors were unmanned crafts sent to the moon to gather information about the terrain, weather, surface, and other conditions of the moon to facilitate the landing of astronauts. On May 30, 1966, Surveyor 1 was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 14:41 hours UTC. The low-speed landing on June 2 was achieved after a 63-hour, 36-minute flight from Cape Kennedy. Surveyor 1 was designed and built for NASA by the Hughes Aircraft Company of Culver City in the state of California. Technical guidance was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena. The rocket used to launch the Surveyor 1 was an Atlas-Centaur.