Ranger 7, launched on July 28, 1964, was the first US space probe to successfully transmit close images of the lunar surface back to Earth. The earlier Rangers, 1 through 6, all failed for various reasons.
Ranger 7 launch cover signed by (from left to right) Gerard P. Kuiper (Principal Scientist, Ranger 7 Vidicon Television Cameras), Allen E. Wolfe (Ranger Spacecraft Systems Manager), Harris M. Schurmeier (Ranger Project Manager), Newton W. "Bill" Cunningham (Ranger Program Manager), Eugene M. Shoemaker (Investigating Scientist), Patrick J. Rygh (Ranger Flight Operations Director).
Ranger 7 was designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. Ranger 7 reached the Moon on July 31, took the first image at 13:08:45 UT at an altitude of 2110 km. Transmission of over 4300 photographs in excellent quality occurred over the final 17 minutes of flight. The final image taken before impact has a resolution of 0.5 meters. Below is a complete series of the Ranger 1-9 mission covers from Spacecraft.