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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 10. 1965.



During the same month that Voskhod 2 and the Molly Brown were launched—March, 1965—the Americans launched Ranger IX Moon probe which crashed on the surface of the moon. But before its demise it televised back to earth man's closest and sharpest look at his lunar neighbour.

The series of pictures that Ranger transmitted home began with a view of the Crater Alphonsus, a site which many scientists had picked as one of the most likely spots for a manned landing on the moon. The cameras aboard Ranger never faltered. The field of view rapidly narrowed, and details emerged that had never before been seen by human eyes. The last pictures were transmitted some 0.45 seconds before impact from three-quarters of a mile above the moon. They showed objects as small as 10 inches.

In early June the American Gemini programme advanced another step. Gemini 4, carrying two astronauts. Ed White and Jim McDivitt, accomplished a 98-hour 1,700,000-mile flight. They, like the Russians, achieved a walk in space. The duration was 20 minutes, twice that of the Russians, with corresponding increase of information.

The flight achieved one of two main aims, that of the space walk.