NASA's Ranger 5 was the third attempt by the United States to land a spacecraft on the Moon. A malfunction with the spacecraft's batteries caused them to drain after about eight hours of flight, leaving Ranger 5 inoperable.
Oct. 18, 1962: Launch
Oct. 21, 1962: End of mission
This was the third attempt by the U.S. to impact the surface of the Moon using a Block 2 Ranger spacecraft.
On this mission, after just 15 minutes of normal operation, a malfunction led to the transfer of power from solar to battery power. Normal operations never resumed, and the battery power was depleted after 8 hours. After that, all spacecraft systems died.
The first course correction was never implemented, and Ranger 5 passed the Moon at a range of 450 miles (724 kilometers) Oct. 21, 1962, and entered heliocentric orbit. It was tracked to a distance of about 790,000 miles (1,271,381 kilometers).
Before loss of signal, the spacecraft sent back about four hours of data from its gamma-ray experiment.