Ranger spacecraft were designed to reach the surface of the Moon. Launches began in 1961.
Rangers were navigated by radio from Goldstone, California, and made mid-course corrections using onboard thrusters. The first Ranger missions failed, although Ranger 4 managed to impact the lunar surface. Rangers 7, 8, and 9 also struck the Moon after returning detailed images of the lunar surface.
The goal of the first two Ranger missions was to place the spacecraft into elliptical orbits around the Earth. However, both spacecraft reentered the atmosphere instead.
Rangers 3, 4, and 5 each carried a television camera to return images of the Moon right up to the point of impact. They also carried a seismometer designed to operate after impact. Only Ranger 4 impacted the Moon, and none of the three probes returned data.
Rangers 7, 8, and 9 finally succeeded in crashing into the Moon as planned, after returning detailed images of the lunar surface.