August 2014 Archives

First Earthrise Photo Taken 48 Years Ago Today

Keith's note: 48 Years ago today, on 23 August 1966, Lunar Orbiter 1 snapped the first photo of Earth as seen from lunar orbit (Larger view). While a remarkable image at the time, the full resolution of the image was never retrieved from the data stored from the mission. In 2008, this earthrise image was restored by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project at NASA Ames Research Center. We obtained the original data tapes from the mission (the last surviving set) and restored original FR-900 tape drives to operational condition using both 60s era parts and modern electronics. The following links provide background on the image, its restoration, and reactions to its release.

Here is a comparison of the full image in its original, familiar context (higher res)(print quality). You can download a 1.2 GB version from NASA here. Note: this is a very large file.

- Newly Restored Lunar Orbiter Image of Earth and Moon (Detail)
- How the Photo Was Taken
- House of Representatives Honors Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project
- Nimbus II and Lunar Orbiter 1 Imagery: A New Look at Earth in 1966
- Dumpster Diving for Science, Science Magazine
- What Lunar Orbiter 1 Was Seeing on 23 August 1966

More Visitors to McMoons

Lunar Orbiter V View of the Whole Earth

Video: 50 year old NASA pictures in a whole new light

50 year old NASA pictures in a whole new light, NewsFix

"In the 60's, lunar orbiters took thousands of pictures from space, but few ever saw the originals. "They took their pictures on film and they developed them in their own little darkroom and they scanned them like an old wire photo and the signal came back to earth and they showed it on a tv screen, they then took a picture of the tv screen and printed out those pictures and took pictures of the pictures." Explained Keith Cowing of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Needless to say, the quality of the pictures got worse and worse."

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RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon's Resources
Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon's Resources

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