Fifty years of moon dust: Surveyor 1 was a pathfinder for Apollo

surveyor, moonImage of Surveyor 1's shadow against the lunar surface in the late lunar afternoon. (Image: NASA/JPL)

Before humans could take their first steps on the moon, that mysterious and forbidding surface had to be reconnoitered by robots. When President John Kennedy set a goal of landing astronauts on the lunar surface in 1961, little was known of that world, beyond what could be gleaned from observations by telescopes. We knew it was…

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