Rare vintage model of a Ranger block II spacecraft. The extremely durable metal model approximately measures 23 x 11 x 14 (with components unfolded), and features extendable solar panels, high-gain antenna, and radar altimer, and is topped by the lunar capsule and omnidirectional antenna. In very good to fine condition, with some soiling to antenna, and scattered scuffing and wear; gamma ray spectrometer no longer attached. From the personal collection of Charlie Dry, a former Apollo test astronaut and research engineer and senior scientific analyst at NASA. Operated by NASA in the 1960s, the Ranger program was a series of unmanned space missions designed to obtain the first close-up images of the surface of the Moon. The failure of the initial six flights led to the program being coined 'shoot and hope.' The Block II missions consisted of Ranger lunar probes 3-5 launching to the moon at various points in 1962. Although the three missions proved unsuccessful, their attempts led to the discovery that a type of diode used in previous missions produced problematic gold-plate flaking in the conditions of space. The launch of Ranger 7 on July 28, 1964, successfully transmitted close images of the lunar surface back to Earth.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.