The oldest image of the Earth
1966, Lunar Orbiter 1
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Updated June 01, 2013
Opposite, the oldest image never taken by the Earth since the outskirts of the Moon.
Indeed, the image was taken on August 23rd, 1966 by the vessel Lunar Orbiter 1, launched on August 10th, 1966 in 19:31 UT, conceived mainly to photograph the flat sectors of the lunar surface. This image was announced in the period as the image of the century by the journalists. This image was taken approximately two years before the mission Apollon 8, first mission to transport men beyond the ground orbit. Later if to be placed on orbit around the Earth, the vessel took the direction of the lunar orbit: it was the first time when a man saw the own eyes, the face hidden from the Moon.
This mission was also the occasion of the first celebration of Christmas in the space, on the occasion of which the equipage made a reading of the Book of the Genesis, diffused on the television.
The vessel Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first two remote sights, of the Earth since the Moon on a total of 42 high resolution images and 187 images of average resolution. The modern technology allows the recovery and the retouch of high resolution images of the former sources of data as the tapes of Lunar Orbiter 1.
Specifically, the work of recovery of this image was begun 20 years ago by Nancy Evans and finished recently by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing which lead this project.
Image: The images as that there, have more that an aesthetic value, they allow a comparison with the recent images of the Moon and can explain and show unexpected changes of the surface of the Moon, in the time.
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Image: The oldest image never taken by the Earth since the outskirts of the Moon, dates August 23rd, 1966 in 19:31 (UT).
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Lunar Orbiter is one of five U.S. space probes launched by NASA between 1966 and 1967 to map out the surface of the moon.
The objective was to identify areas of future vessels landing of the Apollo program to complement the work already done by the probes Surveyor and Ranger. During these five flights, 99% of the soil of the moon was mapped with a resolution close to 60 meters.
Lunar Orbiter probes equipped with two cameras, a development system, a scanner and a system of play allowed to develop film and scan the film before sending images to Earth.
Lunar Orbiter probes were the first to make photographs of the Earth seen from space.
The rising of Earth above the lunar horizon was photographed by Lunar Orbiter 1, while photographs of the whole Earth taken by Lunar Orbiter 5.
The five Lunar Orbiter probes have provided a total of 2180 high resolution photos and 822 medium-resolution photos. The five probes have crashed on the moon, on order from NASA before they exhaust their fuel.
It does absolutely had not jeopardize future Apollo ships, which would orbit the Moon. Lunar orbiter (source NASA).
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1968, the first image of the Earth taken by the man
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The first mission to be carried men beyond Earth's orbit, is the Apollo 8 mission launched by the Saturn V space rocket In December 1968, the crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders traveled from the Earth to the Moon and then went around the Moon ten times in their command module before returning to Earth on 27 December.
These three men were the first humans to photograph the Earth from deep space.
On December 24 this picture, the crew is on the other side of the moon, he could then look to the lunar horizon and see the Earth floating in space. This famous painting of a distant blue Earth above the limb of the Moon is a wonderful gift to mankind. Apollo 11 with seven months later, July 20, 1969, for the first time, men will set foot on the Moon.
Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the three astronauts participated in a television live from lunar orbit, in which they made a partial reading of the book of Genesis. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ... "
Image: On 24 December 1968 for the first time men saw the Earth from the Moon. credit NASA