Gemini's wonderful photographs of the Earth marked the birth of our environmental consciousness.

This superb photograph shows areas of Peru (upper right), Chile (top center) and Bolivia. The large body of water at lower right is Lake Titicaca. The salt basin Salar de Uyuni is the large light-colored area at upper left. The Pacific coastline of Peru and Chile is at upper right. The range running parallel with the coastline is the Cordillera Occidental. 

“Photographs of terrain and weather taken during Gemini flights showed that both geological and manmade landmarks and storms in the Earth’s atmosphere could be viewed advantageously from orbital altitudes. The many spectacular color photographs of the Earth brought back by the astronauts have both heightened men’s appreciation of their environment and increased scientists’ knowledge of it.”

—NASA associate Administrator George Mueller (NASA SP-171, foreword)