No one had ever landed on the Moon, and in 1961, when NASA’s Surveyor program began, some thought no one could.
Controlling a safe landing on the Moon was critical to sending anyone up there.
Surveyor 1 was launched on May 30, 1966, and became the first U.S. spacecraft to make a controlled landing on the Moon.
Surveyor 1 touched down safely about 9 miles (15 km) from its programmed landing site.
The Surveyor 1 program was under the management of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, utilizing spacecraft designed and built by Hughes Aircraft.
The spacecraft made a soft landing in the Ocean of Storms and was fitted with a TV camera that transmitted 11,237 images to earth.