HAIL TO THE CHIEF: A View To Remember

James Zahara Weather Blog

On August 23, 1966, the Lunar Orbiter 1 takes a photo and gave us an eye-opening perspective of exactly how tiny we are.

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Wow!! Do you remember this? This brings back memories. I’ve been a constant gazer of the skies since I can remember and if you grew up in the 60s like I did, you knew the space race was the highlight of the decade.  I actually remember this picture hanging on my wall when I was in preschool!

The photograph from the Lunar Orbiter 1 gave all of us back home a brand new perspective. Shot from a distance of 236,000 miles away, it was the first image of our planet from another place. The Lunar Orbiter 1 was the first American spacecraft to orbit the moon, and it was the first of five spacecraft in the Lunar Orbiter program that was operated between 1966 and 1967.

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It was originally designed to photograph the smooth lunar landscape. The images it took would then be examined for ideal landing locations for the Surveyor and Apollo missions.  No doubt, it was a groundbreaking image. In the years to follow, the images were even more mind-boggling.

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The best, on December 7, 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission from a distance of 28,000 miles this image was and still is considered one of the most recognizable in modern photography today.