Ranger 7 Captured the First ever Detailed Photo of the Moon 50...

Ranger 7 Captured the First ever Detailed Photo of the Moon 50 years ago

Until 50 years ago on July 31, when NASA captured the first close-up images of the moon from Ranger 7, nobody had the idea of what the surface of the moon really looked like.

Ranger 7 took this image, the first picture of the Moon by aU.S. spacecraft, on 31 July 1964 at 13:09 UT (9:09 AM EDT) about 17 minutes before impacting the lunar surface. Image credit: NASA/JPL
Ranger 7 took this image, the first picture of the Moon by aU.S. spacecraft, on 31 July 1964 at 13:09 UT (9:09 AM EDT) about 17 minutes before impacting the lunar surface. Image credit: NASA/JPL

On July 31st, 1964 at 9:08AM ET, it returned the image above, capturing the Alphonsus and Ptolemaeus craters (on the right) and the lunar “Sea of Clouds.”  Over the next 17 minutes it took 4,308 high-quality images and sent them back to earth in real time. The images were supposed to be used for research as well as for selecting landing sites for the Apollo moon missions. The last image was sent by the spacecraft just 3 seconds before crashing into the Sea of Clouds’ northern rim.

The Ranger 7 inspired Apollo11 : the mission to send a man to the moon.The film is available online at :