Ranger 4

Launch Time
Mon Apr 23, 1962 20:50 UTC


Atlas-LV3 Agena-B
Image Credit: USAF or NASA
General Dynamics
Status: Retired
Payload to LEO: 1,725 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 0

Mission Details

Ranger 4

Ranger 4 was a spacecraft of the Ranger program designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to crashing upon the Moon, to rough-land a seismometer capsule on the Moon, to collect gamma-ray data in flight, to study radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, and to continue testing of the Ranger program for the development of lunar and interplanetary spacecraft. An onboard computer failure caused a failure of the deployment of the solar panels and navigation systems; as a result, the spacecraft crashed on the far side of the Moon without returning any scientific data. It was the first spacecraft of the United States to reach another celestial body.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 331.0 kg
Trans Lunar Injection


LC-12, Cape Canaveral SFS, Florida, USA



14th orbital launch attempt


15th mission
4th mission of 1962
6th successful mission
3rd consecutive successful mission