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Surveyor Probes


A US unpiloted space program of the late 1960s that was designed to investigate the bearing strength, physical structure, and chemistry of the lunar regolith by means of trenching devices and alpha-scattering analysis (see table). The spacecraft were soft-landed by retrorockets. Each was equipped with a television camera, powered by solar cells, for panoramic photography. The maria were shown to have a basaltic composition, whereas the highlands were found to be richer in calcium and aluminum. See also Luna probes; Lunar Orbiter probes; Ranger; Zond probes.



the designation of a series of American spacecraft used in lunar exploration. The Surveyor program included studies to determine the mechanical characteristics, chemical composition, and electromagnetic properties of lunar soil and the thermal conditions on the surface of the moon. Television pictures of the lunar surface were obtained in order to study the topography and structure of the soil, laser emission transmitted from the earth was recorded, and astronomical investigations were conducted, including the photographing of stars, the sun, and the planets. “Surveyor” was also the name of the program for developing and launching the spacecraft in the period 1960–68. The engineering objective of the Surveyor program was the development of a system for soft landings.

The Surveyor spacecraft consisted of an engine module containing three liquid-propellant vernier rockets and a solid-pro-pellant retro-rocket, a power module with solar and chemical batteries, radio equipment, and guidance systems for flight control and orientation. The scientific apparatus included an alpha-particle scatterer and analyzer for determining the chemical composition of the lunar soil from reflected alpha particles (Surveyor 5, 6, and 7), a scoop for investigating the mechanical properties of the lunar soil (Surveyor 3, 4, and 7), instruments for detecting magnetic substances in the soil (Surveyor 4, 5, 6, and 7), and a television camera for photographing the moon in the approach area (Surveyor 1 and 2). A panoramic television camera for taking photographs after the landing on the moon was installed in all Surveyor spacecraft; a total of 86,500 photographs of the lunar surface, the sun, and the planets was taken.

The maximum diameter of all Surveyor spacecraft (measured across the extended supports of the landing chassis) was 4.27 m; the height (with chassis folded) was approximately 3 m; the weight at launch was 995–1,038 kg; and the weight after landing was 276–297 kg. An Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle was used for the launching. A total of seven spacecraft were launched in the period 1966–68, of which Surveyor 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 accomplished a soft landing and completed the assigned tasks.



One whose occupation is surveying, or who is otherwise skilled in the art.
References in classic literature ?
Meanwhile, there I was, a Surveyor of the Revenue and, so far as I have been able to understand, as good a Surveyor as need be.
For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms, and did my duty faithfully; surveyor, if not of highways, then of forest paths and all across-lot routes, keeping them open, and ravines bridged and passable at all seasons, where the public heel had testified to their utility.
The account he had given of himself stated that he was a surveyor, engaged in taking measurements for a new map of that part of the country, shortly to be published.
An' surveyors workin' up the valley for an electric road from Sausalito with a branch up Napa Valley.
Why do not the surveyors of the States set their compasses and run their lines over our heads as well as beneath our feet?
I wouldn't make a downright lawyer o' the lad,--I should be sorry for him to be a raskill,--but a sort o' engineer, or a surveyor, or an auctioneer and vallyer, like Riley, or one o' them smartish businesses as are all profits and no outlay, only for a big watch-chain and a high stool.