The first photograph of Earth taken from space was taken on August 23, 1966, by the Lunar Orbiter 1 mission. The mission was not intended to take pictures of Earth, but rather to collect detailed images of the Moon’s surface. The image shows the mottled lunar surface, craters formed by billions of years of impact, and cloud-covered Earth. Here are some interesting facts about the first picture of Earth from space.
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The first photograph of Earth was taken in 1947 by a group of soldiers and scientists in the New Mexico desert. The Vanguard Program, overseen by John T. Mengel of NASA, conducted experiments in the upper atmosphere of captured German V-2 rockets. Mengel also designed the first research nose shell. During these experiments, scientists attached cameras to the nose of the spacecraft. The photograph was taken with the sun behind the Earth, and is considered to be the first picture of Earth taken from space.
In 1990, the Voyager 1 satellite took a photo of Earth. The satellite was approximately 4 billion miles away. The image revealed the curvature of the Earth and its surface. Carl Sagan said, “Look at that dot again.”
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