Any of a series of seven unmanned U.S. space probes sent to make soft landings on the Moon in 1966–68. Surveyor 2 crashed on the Moon, and radio contact with Surveyor 4 was lost minutes before landing, but the rest sent back thousands of photographs; some were equipped to sample and test lunar soil. Surveyor 6 made the first liftoff from an extraterrestrial body; Surveyor 7 landed in the lunar highlands and returned data showing that the landscape and soil there differ from those of lower areas. See also Luna; Pioneer; Ranger.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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