The photo that captured the First View of Earth from the Moon, 1966

For thousands of years, man could only guess what the Earth looked like. That changed on August 23, 1966, when the world received the first view of Earth taken by a spacecraft from around the Moon.

This photo was taken from a distance of about 236,000 miles (380,000 km) and shows half the Earth from Istanbul to Cape Town and areas to the east, which are covered at night. Although the photo did not show any details on the surface of the Earth taken in 1966, people on Earth who saw this picture were stunned to see it.

Lunar Orbiter 1 was one of five lunar orbiters sent to the Moon by NASA in the 1960s. This particular Lunar Orbiter's mission was primarily to take photographs in preparation for the manned Apollo missions three years later.

The orbiter had its own film processing units – using two lenses, they would take, develop and process images, scan them and send the data back to Earth.

A total of 42 high-resolution and 187 medium-resolution frames were taken and transmitted to Earth covering more than 5 million square kilometers of the Moon's surface, completing about 75% of the intended mission, although several initial high-resolution frames were captured. -Resolution photos showed severe blur.

Ultimately, the images from the photographic surveys helped NASA narrow down candidate sites for future Moon landing missions.
Near the end of the spacecraft's mission, scientists on the ground decided they wanted to train their sights on Earth rather than on the Moon.

He coordinated a high-risk maneuver that restored the spacecraft, then took a successful photograph of Earth's rise from the Moon on August 23, 1966.

Earth was photographed in 1946 when a satellite took a grainy look at Earth's surface, but Lunar Orbiter 1's picture was different. This showed the planet as a round planet in deep space. Even though the picture looks blurry and low-resolution to the modern eye, it helped to get a glimpse of the planet we shared.

Lunar Orbiter 1 was tracked until it impacted the lunar surface in its 577th orbit on October 29, 1966, at 7 degrees north latitude, 161 degrees east longitude.

The initial end of the nominal one-year mission resulted from a lack of remaining attitude control gas and other deteriorating conditions and was planned to avoid transmission interference with Lunar Orbiter 2.

In 2008 a group of NASA employees began an effort to re-calibrate these images on their original analog tapes. The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project released a stunning new version of the first picture of Earth from the Moon. Using advanced image processing techniques, the new image shows previously unseen details.

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