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Surveyor 3 Scoop

Two Surveyor missions were equipped with an experiment called the "Soil Mechanics/Surface Sampler device," a robotic arm with a scoop at the end. The arm could be extended approximately 1.5 meters and could move radially through a range of 112 degrees.

One of the objectives of the Apollo 12 mission was to land near Surveyor III and retrieve several parts from the spacecraft, which had landed some two and a half years earlier, to determine the effects of the space environment on aerospace materials. This resulted in several photos of the Apollo astronauts in front of Surveyor III. (If you look closely, the SM/SS can be seen, extended, in front of the astronauts.)

Additional information regarding the returned scoop can be found in Analysis of Surveyor 3 Material and Photographs Returned by Apollo 12.

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