On June 2, 1966, Surveyor 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon. This engineering model, S-10, was used for thermal control tests. It represents a flight model of Surveyor 3 or later.
On September 18, 1967, this Lunar Test Article 8 (LTA-8) ascent stage began extensive testing at the Manned Spacecraft Center's thermal vacuum test chamber "B", the Space Environment Simulation Laboratory (SESL). LTA-8 was the first "man-rated" lunar module. While atmospheric tests were cancelled, it was used in simulated tests in support of Apollo 9 and Apollo 11.
55 Years Ago Today: GRAB-1, the world's first successful reconnaissance satellite, was launched. Pictured here is the backup model for GRAB-1 on display in the "Space Race" gallery at our Museum in Washington, DC.