The Ranger is a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) reconnaissance spacecraft built and used by NASA. Two Rangers were part of the Endurance mission, named Ranger 1 and Ranger 2. Twelve additional Rangers were also built launched for the Lazarus missions ten years prior.
The Ranger program began decades ago to produce a viable, reusable, high-efficiency SSTO craft that could climb out of the Earth’s gravity well single-handed, achieve orbit, then de-orbit to land on the planet’s surface or vice versa. Joseph Cooper was a test pilot in the Ranger program prior to the apparent dissolution of NASA several years ago