An extremely important photograph in the history of space exploration showing for the first time our planet from the vantage point of another world.
It captures a sight that has only ever been seen by the later Apollo astronauts as they came around the farside of the Moon and faced the Earth. This high resolution photograph (partial view of Lunar Orbiter frame I-102H2) was photo- graphed with the 610mm lens from an altitude of 1198 km above the Moon over the 233-km Crater Pasteur (cut off at right) and the 173-km Crater Hilbert (cut off at left). The view is centered on a point of latitude: 14.68° S, longitude 104.34° E.
This photograph is the re-enhanced version of the image which was transmitted to Earth on August 23, 1966 and first released a few days later. It was released again by NASA on October 24, 1966.
The world’s first view of the Earth taken by a spacecraft from the vicinity of the Moon. The photo was transmitted to Earth by the United states Lunar Orbiter I and received at the NASA tracking station at Robledo De Chavela near Madrid, Spain. This crescent of Earth was photographed August 23, 1966 at 16:35 GMT when the spacecraft was on its 16th orbit and just about to pass behind the Moon. This is a view the astronauts will have when they come around the backside of the Moon and face the Earth. The Earth is shown on the left of the photo with the U.S. east coast in the upper left, southern Europe toward the dark or night side of Earth, and An- tarctica at the bottom of Earth crescent. The surface of the Moon is shown on the right side of the photo. Re-enhanced photograph - October 24, 1966.
[NASA caption, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.]
“By this reversal of viewpoint, we here on the Earth have been provided a sobering glimpse of the spectacle of our own planet as it will be seen by a few of our generation in their pursuit of the manned exploration of space. We have achieved the ability to contemplate ourselves from afar and thus, in a measure, accomplish the wish expressed by Robert Burns: ‘To see ourselves as others see us!’”
—Floyd Thompson, NASA Langley Research Center (Cortright, ppg. 84-85)
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© All texts by Victor Martin-Malburet