The sign accompanying the Surveyor engineering model. It reads
Paving the Way for Apollo
This is an engineering model fo the Surveyor. unmanned
lunar pathfinder. Surveyor 1 became America's first
spacecraft to successfully soft land on the Moon, doing so on 2 June 1966. Six
more Surveyors were sent to the Moon. The primary objectives of Surveyors were
to transmit scientific and engineering information from the lunar surface to
determine if the terrain was safe for manned lunar landings. Equipped with a
survey camera and a trenching scoop, Surveyor
transmitted images of the lunar topography as well as tested lunar soil by
using the scoop.
On 19 November 1969, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean from the crew of Apollo XII landed on the edge of
a crater within 200 yards of the Surveyor 3 spacecraft. Prior
to leaving the lunar surface, they visited the crater containing
Surveyor 3 and removed the trenching scoop and camera from the
spacecraft, which had landed on the Moon almost two years prior to their
arrival. These pieces were taken back to Earth for scientific study. The
camera is now on
display at the National Air and Space
Museum. The trenching scoop is currently on loan from NASA to the
Cosmosphere and can be seen on display in the museum's Apollo Gallery.
On loan from the National Air and Space Museum, L5115A.