The Surveyor probes were the first US craft to safely land on the moon. Launched between May 1966 and January 1968, the probes were successors to the Ranger program (the Ranger probes crashed, taking pictures right up to the moment of impact) intended to get close up photos of the moon, as well as do some simple mechanical and chemical analysis of the soil.

Of the seven launches, five successfully landed on the moon and sent back a wealth of pictures and other data:

Surveyor 1 - Launched 02 June 1966, 06:17:37 UT - Landed Flamsteed P crater.
Surveyor 2 - Launched 20 September 1966 - Crashed on Moon 22 September 1966 (vernier engine failed to ignite - southeast of Copernicus Crater)
Surveyor 3 - Launched 17 April 1967 - Landed Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms)
Surveyor 4 - Launched 14 July 1967 - Lost Radio contact 17 July 1967 (2.5 minutes from touchdown - Sinus Medii)
Surveyor 5 - Launched 08 September 1967 - Landed Mare Tranquillitatus (Sea of Tranquility)
Surveyor 6 - Launched 07 November 1967 - Landed Sinus Medii
Surveyor 7 - Launched 07 January 1968 - Landed Tycho North Rim

The Apollo 12 mission landed only 600 feet from Surveyor 3. The astronauts retrieved a painted tube, an unpainted tube, the Surveyor 3 scoop and the television camera so that they could study the effects of long-term exposure to lunar conditions.

Sur*vey"or (?), n.


One placed to superintend others; an overseer; an inspector.

Were 't not madness then, To make the fox surveyor of the fold? Shak.


One who views and examines for the purpose of ascertaining the condition, quantity, or quality of anything; as, a surveyor of highways, ordnance, etc.


One who surveys or measures land; one who practices the art of surveying.

4. Customs

(a) An officer who ascertains the contents of casks, and the quantity of liquors subject to duty; a gauger.

(b) In the United States, an officer whose duties include the various measures to be taken for ascertaining the quantity, condition, and value of merchandise brought into a port.


Surveyor general. (a) A principal surveyor; as, the surveyor general of the king's manors, or of woods and parks. [Eng.] (b) An officer having charge of the survey of the public lands of a land district. [U.S.] Davies & Peck (Math. Dict.). -- Surveyor's compass. See Circumferentor. -- Surveyor's level. See under Level.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.