Surveyor I and the American Flag–Jack Fisher

The miraculous landing of the first Surveyor spacecraft to reach the Moon on June 2, 1966 has been described in The Story of Surveyor I. After the landing it was discovered that an American flag had been placed in the spacecraft as arranged by Sheldon Shallon, the Surveyor Project’s Chief Scientist at Hughes Aircraft. The presence of this flag was unknown to NASA, JPL and became quite controversial. The documents included below, provided by Susanne Shallon, Sheldon’s daughter, describe the aftermath quite well. Unfortunately Sheldon passed away last April and will not be with us to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of this mission in June.

ShallonSheldon Shallon describing the Surveyor Spacecraft


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About Jack Fisher

Jack was a systems engineer at Hughes from 1961 to 1992. He contributed to various programs including Surveyor, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Intelsat VI and innumerable proposals. He was the manager of of the Spacecraft Systems Engineering Lab until his retirement. Upon retirement Jack taught systems engineering at a number of national and international venues.

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