RANGER 3 SPACECRAFT Ranger 3 represents the first attempt by the United Staten to take closeup pictures of the moon and to make measuremewts on the lunar surface. Three spacecraft, Rangers 3, 4A, and 5, will be launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at intervals during 1962 in an attempt to photograph the moon closerp, provide information on the composition of' the lunar suriace and learn more about its history and structure by means of an instrumented capsule that is designed to survive a landing on the moon. Ranger 3, scheduled for launch within a few days from the Atlantic Missile Range, Cape Canaveral, Fla., is the first of this series of identical spacecraft. It is a 727-pound gold- and silver-plated machine that will be called on in a 66-hour flight to the moon to perform the moot complicated series of events that a U.S. spacecraft yet has been asked to undertake. It will be asked to: 1. Leave the earth, achieve a parking orbit and reach escape velocity of 24,500 miles an hour. 2. Perform a three axis maneuver in space to look onto the sun and the earth. 3. Accept correction commands from the earth, change its orientation in flight and fire a mid-course motor to put itself on collision course with the moon. 4, Reestablish its look on the sun and the earth. 5. Perform a terminal maneuver when it gets to within 5000 miles of the moon. (Over)

6. Take television pictures of the lunar approaches the moon.

surface as it

7. Mak: studies of the composition of the lunar surface and its radar reflection characteristics. 8. Separate a retro rocket and capsule system from the spacecraft when it is 70,000 feet above the lunar surface. 9. Fire the retro rocket to slow. the capsule system from 6000 miles an hour to zero velocity 1,100 feet above the surface oY" moon.

10. Detach an instrumented capsule containing a seismometer from the :'etro rocket so that it rough lands after a free fall from 1100 feet, survives the landing, positions itself and then sends for 30 days information on moon quakes and meteoritic impact. The assignment is so complex that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has assigned.three identical spacecraft to the task in the hope that one of the three will be successful. The Ranger program is being carried out for the NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, operated for the NASA by the California Institute of Technology. In the. Ranger 3 spacecraft, the Aeronutronic Division of Ford Motor Company, Newport Beach, Calif;., provided the lunar capsule subsystem. There are four scientific experiments on Range: 3. The experiments are the seismometer, Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Teenology and the Laiont Geophysical obsevatoy of Columbia University; lunar photography experiment, the Univerity of Arizona, the U.S,. Geological Survey, and the University of Caliifornia at San Diego and'JPL; gamma -ay experiment, the University of California at San Diego, the Lok Alamos Scientific Laboratories arid JPL, (the gamma ray experiment); and JVL, the radar reflectivity experiment. SPACECRAFT DESCRIFTION Ranger 3 is similar in appeazrance to its two predecessors, Ranger 1andII, in that.it uses the same basic. hexagonal structure and solar pAnels -that marked those two spacecraft. *JPL engineers who designed the Ranger series call the basic hexagon the bus, in the sense that it serves as an omnibus to carry different passengers in the form of different scientific and engineering instruments.




As in the case of the other Rangers, Ranger 3 was preceded by a Proof Test Model (PTM) which was made as identical to the flight hardware as possible. The Ranger 3 PTM assembly started in April, 1961, and was subjected to strains and stresses far in excess of what can be expected in the flight. The PTM was subjected to vibration tests 125 per cent in excess of vibrations it can expect to encounter in flight, it was exposed to temperatures ranging between 32 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, it was put in vacuums down to .000007 millimeters of mercury, and it went through many complete simulated flight tests and countdowns. Assembly of the flight hardware of Ranger 3 was started July 1, 1961, and its testing was completed in November. On November 15, the Ranger 3 left JPL in Pasadena by special truck for Cape Canaveral, and arrived there November 20. At the Atlantic Missile Range, Ranger 3 was put through system tests, checkouts and calibrations. Twc days before launch, it was to undergo a precountdown test which was to be held at that time in order to have time to correct anything found wrong. Ranger 3 is five feet in diameter at the base of the hexagon and in its launch position with the solar panels folded up in the manner of butterfly wings. In its launch position it is 8.25 feet in height. In the cruise position, with its solar panels extended and the high-gain directional antenna in its extended position, it is 17 feet across in span and 10.25 feet in height. The 727-pound weight of the spacecraft includes 328 pounds for the .unar capsule and retro rocket system. The instrument capsule, designed to survive the landing on the moon, weighs 56.7 pounds and is covered-by a balsa wood impact limiter to cushion the shock of landing. The impact limiter weighs 39.8 pounds, making the instrumented sphere and the limiter weigh a total of 96.5 pounds. The lunar capsule rests atop a retro motor which in turn-sits on the uop of the spacecraft hexagon. The retro motor, with a thrust of 5080 pounds, weighs 213 pounds, together with its small spin motor thLat rotates the assemtly for stability just before the retro motor is fired. Attached to the hexagonal base are the two solar panels which in flight will collect solar energy which in turn will be cbnverted into electrical power to run the spacecraft. The panels contaln 4340 solar cells each in approximately 10 square feel of each panel, making a total of 8680 cells on the two panels. They will pick up enough solar eniergy to be converted into a minimum of 155 watts and a maximum of 210 watts, unregula .(over) -1-3-

In one of the six boxes around the base is a 25-pound silver zinc launch and backup battery with a capacity of 1000 watt hours. This battery will be used to provide power for Ranger 3 when the solar cells are not operating, such as in the midcourse maneuver and prior to landing. Ranger 3 has three antennas--two on the spacecraft or bus and one on the top of the instrumented sphere that will land on the moon. The lunar capsule transmitter is powered by six silver cadmium batteries to run the transmitter for at least 30 days to transmit moon quake information from the sphere to the earth. The two antennas antenna positioned at four-foot-in-diameter hinged mounted at the on the spacecraft are the omnidirectional the forward end of the spacecraft and the high-gain directional antenna which is aft end.

Mounted in the hollowed-out section in the middle of the hexagon is the mid-courseimotor which was developed by JPL several years ago and has since been used in other U.S. space tests. It is a liquid monopropellant engine that weighs, with fuel and the helium pressure gas system, 36.12 pounds. The hydrazine fuel is held in a rubber bladder contained inside a football-shaped container called the pressure dome. When the mid-course motor receives the commanid to fire, helium under 3000 pounds of pressure per square inch is admitted inside the pressure dome and squeezes the rubber bladder which contains the hydrazine fuel. The hydrazine is thus forced into the combustion chamber, but because 'it is a monopropellant, it needs a starting fluid to initiate combustion and a catalyst to maintain combustion. The starting fluid used, in this case nitrogen tetroxide, is admitted into the combustion chamber by means of a pressurized cartridge. The introduction of the nitrogen tetroxide causes ignition, and the burning in the combustion chamber is maintained by the catalyst, aluminum oxide pellets stored in the chamber. Burning stops when the valves turn off helium pressure and fuel flow. At the bottom of the nozzle of the mid-course motor are four jet vanes which protrude into the rocket exhaust for attitude control of the spacecraft during the period of the mid-course burn.



The mid-courm motor is so precise that it can burn in bursts of as little as 50 milliseconds and can increase velocity by as little as one-tenth of a foot per second or as much as 144 feet per second. It has a thrust of 50 pounds for a maximum of 68 seconds. Also in one of the six boxes around she hexagon is a solidstate digital computer called the Central Computer and Sequencer (CC&S). This is a system which allows commands to be stored in the system for later transmission to subsystem of the spacecraft, and which also allows specific ground commands to be stored in the CC&S for later routing to perform specific

Ranger 3 will use the parking orbit technique which is a means by which the geometry imposed on moon impact shots by the location of the Atlantic Missile range at Cape Canaveral, Florida, is corrected by using the second-stage rocket as a mobile launching platform in space. The Atlas booster of the Atlas-Agena launch vehicle carried Agena B and Ranger 2 to an altitude of 115 statute miles above the earth and to a velocity considerably below orbital speed of 18,000 miles an hour.


During the launch phase, the Ranger spacecraft is protected against aerodynamic heating by a shroud which covers it. -After Atlas cutoff, at approximately 280 seconds, the shroud is Jettisoned by eight spring-loaded bolts which shove it ahead of the vehicle. At almost the same time, the Agena B separates from the Atlas. At this time, the Agena B pitches down from an attitude almost 15 degrees above the local horizon to almost level with the local horizon. In this horizontal attitude, the Agena B fires for the first time and burns -or almost two and a half minutes to reach orbital speed of 18,oQQ miles an hour. After this burning time, Agena B shuts down and coasts in a parking orbit for more than 13 minutes until it reaches the optimum point in time and space in its orbit to fire for the second


After the-second Agena B burn, the Agena B and Ranger 3, still as one unit are injected at escape velocity of 24,500 miles an hour approximately over Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and approximately 23 minutes after launch. Up to this time, the events of the launch, separation of Agena from Atlas, operation of the Ranger spacecraft system and ignition and cutoff times of Agena have been telemetered to ground tracking stations through the Agena telemetry ayotem. 1-5 (Over)

A little more than two minutes after second burn cutoff or injection, Ranger 3 is separated from Agena, again by Spring-loaded bolts. After this occurs, Agena does a 150degree yaw and moves into a different and lower trajectory from that held by Ranger 3 by means of firing a solid retro rocket on Agena. This is done for two reasons: 'it would not be desirable for the unsterilized Agana to follow Ranger 3 on in and impact the moon, and if Agena B follows Ranger 3 too closely, the spacecraft optical sensors might mistake reflected sunlight from Agena B for the sun or earth and thus confuse its acquisition system. Ranger 3 now is on a trajectory .that will take it fairly close to the moon. 'The omnidirectional antenna now is working and radiating its full three watts of power. Before and during launch, the transmitter had been kept at half power of 1.5 watts. This was done because as the launch vehicle passes through a critical area between 150,000 and 250,000 feet, there is a tendency for devices using high voltage to arc over and damage themselves; hence; the transmitter is kept at half power until this area is passed. Now it is possible to describe the sequence of events that Ranger 3 will conduct on its 66-hour flight to the moon. The first command is issued by the CC&S 30 minutes after launch. Explosive pin pullers holding the solar panels in their launch position are detonated to allow the springloaded solar panels to assume their cruise position. The same command extends the gear-driven high-gain antenna at the aft end. of the spacecraft to a preset position. At launch plus 33 minutes, the CC&S turns on the attitude control system and Ranger-3 starts the process of looking for the sun with its solar sensors, locking on the sun, and then searching for the earth with its high-gain antenna without losing the lock on the sun. There are six sun sensors mounted on Ranger 3. They are four primary sensors on four of the six legs of the hexagon, and two secondary sensors mounted on the backs of the solar panels. These are light-sensitive diodes which inform the attitude control system-gas jets and gyros--when they see the sun. The two secondary sensors on the backs of the solar panels informi the attitude control system when they donit see the sun. The attitude control system responds to these signals by turning the spacecraft in such a manner that the longitudinal, or roll axis, points toward the sun. Torquing of the spacecraft for these maneuvers is provided by ten cold gas jets which are fed by three bottles of nitrogen gas containing a total of 2.5 pounds of nitrogen under pressure of 3500 pounds per square inch. This is calculated to be enough nitrogen to operate the gas jets to maintain attitude control for a minimum of 50 days and a maximum of 100 days. 1-6 -



Tne gyros have first acted to cancel out the residual separation rates which affected Ranger 3 after if left Agena B. The sun sensors then, working on the valves controlling the gas jets, jockey the spacecraft about until its long axis is pointed at the sun. Both the gyros and the sun sensors can .activate the gas jet valves. In order to conserve gas, the attitude control system permits a pointing error toward the sun of one degree, or .5 degree on each side of dead on. The mixing network in the attitude control system is calibrated to keep Ranger 3 slowly swinging through this one degree of arc pointed at the sun. The swing takes approximately 60 minutes. As Ranger 3 nears the .5 degree limlit on one side, the sensors signal the gas jets and they fire again. This process is repeated hourly through the effective life of Ranger 3. It is calculated that the gas jets will fire one-tenth of a second each 60 minutes to keep the spacecraft's solar panels pointed at the sun. The sun acquisition process is expected to take 29 minutes. When it is completed, the secondary sun sensors on the backs of the solar panels are turned off to avoid having light from the earth confuse them. After the solar panels are locked on the sun, the power system now recognizes that it is getting electric power from the solar panels, so it switches from the silver zinc battery and uses the solar power to feed the power demands of Ranger. Three and a half hours after launch, the CC&S commands Ranger 3 to start the earth acquisition process, which requires 30 minutes. The spacecraft maintains its lock on the sun, but with its high-gain directional antenna pointed at a preset angle, it rolls on its long axis and starts to look for the earth. It does this by means of a three-section photo-multiplier-tube-operated earth sensor which is mounted co-axially with the high-gain antenna. During the roll, the earth sensor will see the earth and inform the gas jets. The jets will fire to keep the earth in view of the sensor and thus lock onto the earth. The spacecraft now is stabilized on two axes--the solar panel-sun axis and the earth-directional antenna axis. There is some danger that the earth sensor, during its search for the. earth, may see the moon and lock onto that, but telemetry later will inform earth stations if this has occurred, and Goldstone has the ability to send an override tommand to the attitude control system to tell it to look again for the earth. (over) -1-7.-

This w~ll not be known, however, until Ranger' 3 rises on the Goldstone horizon 12.5 hours after launch. At that time, Goldstone will send Ranger 3 a comrmano to switch from the omnidirectional antenna to the directional antenna. If the increase in received signal strength indicates that the directional antenna is locked on the earth, no furtner commands in this area are necessary at the moment. But if the signal strength drops, indicating that the directional antenna is not pointed at the earth, the override roll command will be sent If this is not to Ranger 3 to look for the earth again. sufficient, Goldstone also has the ability to send a hinge override- command to change the position of the antenna and start the search for the earth again. Four hours after launch, CC&S will turn on the gamma ray experiment. This is a spectrometer contained in a 12-inchin-diameter ball mounted on a 40-inch-long arm on the hexagon. Later in the flight, pressurized gas will be used to extend this telescoping arm to 72 inches away from the spacecraft in order to avoid the measurement of secondary effects created by cosmic rays hitting the main bulk of the spacecraft. It is not deemed desirable to extend the gamma ray boom at this time, however, since Ranger 3 still must perform its mid-course corrective maneuver to get on collision course with the moon. In order to perform this maneuver with precision, of course, it is necessary to know the precise center of gravity of the spacecraft. If the gamma ray boom were ordered out to its extended position, and it did not for some reason obey this order, the center of gravity would be different from the calculated point, and the precision of the mid-course maneuver would be affected. So the boom stays in the retracted position until the mid-course maneuver is completed. From that point on, four hours ay'er launch, until the start of the-mid-course maneuver 16 hours fter launch, most 6f.the ep Space Instrumentation activity takes place at the three Facility stations--Woomera, Austr ia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Goldstone, California--a d at JPL. Tracking data from these hree stations are fed into the 7090 computer at JPL in Pasadena. The computer calculates the position of the spacecraft as it is in fact in relation to where it.should be in order to hit the moon. If it is the case, as it is likely to be, that guidance errors before injection have put it off its optimum trajectory, the computer will provide a set of figures that will tell the spacecraft how it has to change its orientation in space in order to properly arm the mid-course motor for its corrective maneuver.




This intelligence will be in the form of a four-word command that will be sent to the spacecraft and stored in the CC&S. One word sent to the CC&S concerns the direction and amount of pitch necessary for Ranger 3 and another word concezns the direction and amount of roll needed. The third wor'd is the amount of velocity ihcrement needed from the midcourse motor. These three words are sent from Goldstone to the Ranger 3 CC&S, where they are checked to see if they are addressed to the proper places in the spacecraft. CC&S takes no action, however, until it receives the 'go" command from Goldstone. While waiting for that command, the spacecraft sends back to Goldstone, for rechecking, the words it received. If there are no changes to be made, 30 minutes after the Ranger 3 CC&S has received and stored the commands, it receives at 16 hours after launch the "go" command from Goldstone. Just prior to will have issued a directional to the antenna out of the motor. issuing the "go" command, Goldstone command to Ranger 3 to switch from the omni antenna and to move its directional way of the exhaust of the mid-course

The roll maneuver requires 10 minutes of time, including two minutes of settling time, and'the pitch maneuver requires approximately the same time. When these are completed, the mid-course motor is turned on and burns for the commanded time. The attitude control gas jets are not powerful enough to maintain the stability of the spacecraft during mid-course maneuvering, so jet vanes extending into the'exhaust of the mid-course motor control the attitude of the spacecraft-in this period. After the mid-course maneuver has put Ranger 3 on the desired collision course, the spacecraft goes through the sun and earth acquisitioncmodes again. The double acquisition is not so difficult 'this time, however, because gyros in the attitude control system provide a reference back to the attitude position it used before the mid-course maneuver, and it quickly moves back to that position. Ranger 3 now is at the limit of the range at which the omni antenna can provide useful information, however, and Ranger 3 has been transmitting through the omni at this time. As a precaution against some accident which would prevent Goldstone from switching the signal from the omni to the directional antenna, CC&S contains a stored command which it now implements to switch from the omni to the directional antenna. This occurs two and a half hours after iniation of the mid-course maneuver, and the directional antenna stays on for the rest of the flight. -1-9-

At the same time, CC&S commands the gamma ray boom to extend, by means of pressurized gas to its limit of 72 inches away from the spacecraft. The gas contained in the boom is not allowed to vent, since its quick escape undoubtedly would perturb the attitude of the spacecraft. It may leak out, however, but not at a rate that would affect the spacecraft attitude. For the next 48 hours, Ranger 3 continues on its course to the moon, sending gamma ray reports back once every eight minutes. Tracking data from all three DSIF stations are sent to JPL and the 7090 computer calculates when impact will occur. When the exact time of impact is comnputed,. it then will be possible to back off in time and determine where the spacecraft will be 65 minutes before impact. The computer, using this position of Impact minus 65 minutes, will determine the kind of commands that have to be sent to the CC&S in order

for it to perform its terminal maneuver at that time. These commands will be sent by Goldstone to Ranger 3 a half hour before the spacecraft reaches this point in time and space, or 95 minutes before impact.
The commands will be similar in nature to those sent to

govern the mid-course maneuver with the difference that this time there will be no motor burn. The three commands, sent to the CC&S and stored there against the time it receives the "go" commandhre: direction and amount of pitch turndirection and amount of yaw turn, direction and amount of a second pitch turn. The second pitch turn is necessary in order to keep the directional antenna aimed at the earth. The "go" command sent in real time from Goldstone 65 minutes before impact initiates a series of events which sees the spacecraft using its attitude control system to turn around and orient its television camera to the suface of the moon. When this sequence is initiated, Ranger 3 will be approximately 5000 miles above the lunar surface. In the attitude required for the termir.al maneuver the solar panels are not pointed at the sun, and from now on power is provided by the battery. Initiation of the terminal maneuver also turns on the television camera for warmup; it will not start to take pictures until later.


The last command of the CC&S, which is to stop the second pitch maneuver, also initiates a two-minute time delay command that moves back the arm holding the omnidirectional antenna in place stop the lunar capsule. The two-minute delay is to allow for settling time after the terminal maneuver. The omnidirectional antenna arm, released by an explosive bolt, moves back and clears the path for the launch from the bus of the retro rocket and lunar capsule. At the same time, the spring-loaded radar antenna is moved out so it can send its radar pulses to the lunar surface; and a lid covering the television camera lens is moved out of the way. At 2400 miles from the surface of the moon and 40 minutes

before impact, the television camera with its telescope starts taking pictures of the lunar surface and transmitting them, one every 13 seconds, to Goldstone. The gamma ray telemetry also is shifted from low to high rate so that instead of sending reports once every eight minutes, it now sends reports once every 52 seconds.

C face

The radar altimeter, ranging its signal against the surof the moon and receiving the echo, initiates the next comr-

maid. At 70,200 feet above the lunar surface, and 8.1 seconds before the main spacecraft is due to crash and destroy itself, the delay time between the radar pulse and echo is such that the altimeter will generate a fusing signal. This fusing signal starts the lunar capsule launch sequence, in this order of events: The bus power source, the large battery, will explode four bolt cutters on the clamp that holds the retro motor and the lunar capsule assembly to the spacecraft. The clamp flies out. Simultaneously the bus power source will blow a squib switch which activates a battery and sequencer in a small cookie-shaped container located between the retro rocket and the lunar capsule. From that point on, the events that occur to the retro rocket and the lunar capsule are governed by commands from this cookie-shaped sequencer. When the squib switch is closed, the sequencer powers three timers. The first timer, with a built-in delay of 135 nillir seconds, ignites the small spin motor in the nozzle of the retro rocket motor. This delay is programmed so that the clamp which holds the assembly to the spacecraft; has time to fly free before the (Over) capsule starts to spin. 1-11


The spin motor, with a thrust of 20 pounds, has three nozzles tilted down at an angle of 10 degrees, so that when it ignites and spins the retro rocket and the lunar capsule assembly up to 300 revolutions per minute, the downward tilt results in the entire assembly lifting itself by approximately two and a half feet above its cradled position in the spacecraft. The spacecraft goes on to crash into the moon and destroy itself. The retro motor, with a thrust of 5080 pounds, then fires. As it fires, it ejects the spin motor rocket that was contained in its nozzle. The retro motor, with the lunar capsule positioned on top, fires for 10 seconds and cancels out approximately 6000 miles an hour velocity from the capsule assembly. When the retro rocket fires, it is expected to severely
affect the attitude of the main spacecraft so that probably the

dire-tional antenna-will lose its lock on the earth. The consequence of this, of course, will be a sudden loss of transmission of television pictures. This retro rocket ignition is initiated at 52,000 feet above the surface of the moon and comes to an end after burnout of the retro motor so that the entire assembly would normally come to zero velocity when it is approximately 1100 feet above the lunar surface. The. 1100 foot altitude is chosen to provide allowance for the normal dispersions in the system in order to insure that the retro rocket will have time to complete its-job of removing the velocity. After burnout, a separation timer in the sequencer explodes a clamp holding the lunar cansule to the retro motor, and the two units, now separated, b(teh start to free fall into the moon. The separation of the two units will be'such that the burned-out retro motor is expected to lannd four or five seconds ahead of the lunar capsule. This event will occur some 24 seconds after the main spacecraft has crash landed. The balsa wood-covered instrumernted capsule is expected to land with a speed of less than 150 miles an hour. After it has landed, the instrument container in the balsa wood covering will erect itself to point its antenna back to earth and prepare to record and-telemeter back to earth lunar body tremors it picks up from moon quakes or meteoritic impacts. This process of preparation is expected to take 20 minutes.



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