Surveyor-SD 1

Launch Time
Tue Mar 02, 1965 13:25 UTC

Booster fuel prevalves accidentally closed at T+2 seconds, causing loss of booster engine thrust. Vehicle fell back onto the pad and exploded.


Atlas-LV3C Centaur-C
Image Credit: USAF or NASA
General Dynamics
Status: Retired
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 0

Mission Details

Surveyor-SD 1

This mission was designed to rehearse a complete Atlas Centaur 5 upper-stage burn in support of NASA's Surveyor lunar lander program. During an actual mission, the Centaur would boost its payload on a direct ascent trajectory to the Moon.

On this test flight, NASA planned to deliver the payload, a non-functioning model known as SD-1, into an orbit of about 104 x 575,800 miles (167 x 926,625 kilometers) that simulated a lunar transfer trajectory.

Less than 2 seconds after liftoff at 13:25 UT on March 2, 1965, a faulty valve that incorrectly closed caused both Atlas main engines to shut down. As a result, the booster fell back onto the pad and exploded.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 951.0 kg
Highly Elliptical Orbit


SLC-36A, Cape Canaveral SFS, Florida, USA



18th orbital launch attempt


5th mission
1st mission of 1965
3rd failed mission