NASA launches the Ranger 7 lunar probe, built by Jet Propulsion Laboratory and intended to go directly to the moon, transmitting pictures of the surface back to Earth until it impacts the lunar surface. Months of building system redundancies into the Ranger spacecraft have made this vehicle more likely to carry out its mission, and it becomes the first of the Ranger probes to reach the moon with its eyes open. Pictures are transmitted back to Earth as Ranger 7 plunges into the lunar surface near the Ocean of Storms, with photo resolution exceeding expectations. One of the ground controllers at JPL breaks open a jar of peanuts during Ranger 7’s final approach to the moon, starting a JPL tradition that lasts to this day.
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