Launch of Ranger 9

March 21, 1965

NASA Launches Ranger 9, the last of the Ranger series of unmanned lunar exploratory spacecraft. Ranger 9 was the first moon probe to point its cameras directly in the direction of its travel, capturing 5,814 detailed images of the moon’s surface into which it would crash land almost 3 days later. It also sent back video images which were broadcast on live TV. The Ranger series was the precursor to the Apollo Moon landing program.