Today In History: March 24 1965

The images captured by the Ranger 9 allowed it to be established that the center of the lunar mass is displaced with respect to its geometric center 

On March 24, 1965 a million viewers in the United States could see live images of the surface of the moon on their televisions. It was the photographs sent by the Ranger 9, the last of the probes sent by NASA to our satellite. The space mission was aimed at deepening the geological knowledge of the moon as part of investigations prior to sending the first man to the Moon that would take place in 1969. The Ranger 9 was set to crash in the crater Alphonsus but before doing so it would send the images of the lunar surface captured on its descent. This occurred at a rate of 3 miles per second, and lasted about 15 minutes. The impact of the Ranger 9 probe formed a crater 14 meters that years later would be photographed from orbit by Apollo 16.