Lunar Orbiter

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A series of five NASA space probes that photographed the Moon from orbit. Their main targets were potential landing sites for the Apollo missions. The first three of the series orbited around the Moon's equator; the last two were put into polar orbit from which they photographed the entire lunar surface. Tracking the Lunar Orbiters revealed the existence of mascons, areas of denser rock within the Moon.

Lunar Orbiter Probes


Launch date


Lunar Orbiter 1

1966 August 10

Entered lunar orbit August 14

Lunar Orbiter 2

1966 November 6

Entered lunar orbit November 10

Lunar Orbiter 3

1967 February 5

Entered lunar orbit February 8

Lunar Orbiter 4

1967 May 4

Entered lunar orbit May 8

Lunar Orbiter 5

1967 August 1

Entered lunar orbit August 5

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.