On Nov. 17, 1967, NASA’s Surveyor 6 spacecraft made the first liftoff from the surface of the moon.
Surveyor 6 was one of several robotic missions NASA sent to scout the lunar surface before sending humans there. It took television pictures of the surface, and learned about the composition of moon soil.
Then came the big liftoff.
Surveyor 6 launched from the surface, and hopped to another position about eight feet away. Next, Surveyor 6 took pictures of its original landing site.
Controllers on Earth could see the boot prints of Surveyor 6. They also saw an imprint from the rocket exhaust when Surveyor 6 lifted off. Surveyor 6 showed that spacecraft could land on the moon, and lift off again. Less than two years later, humans did the same thing during Apollo 11.
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