Monday, June 8, 2009

Save Planet Earth – The famous Earth rising photo of 40 years ago

Not long after WW2 in 1946 Americans fired a V2 rocket through the earth’s atmosphere with a movie camera attached. I remember seeing these images at a newsreel Cinema. Being able to see the curvature of the earth and the dynamic atmosphere revealed from 60miles above the earth for the first time was a remarkable experience.

Forty years ago last December we all saw for the first time the view from the Apollo Lunar Module of the living and evolving blue-green planet set in the black depths of space with the pockmarked barren surface of the Moon in the foreground. Astronaut Bill Anders photographed that famous scene for us all to see.

We had known the geometry of the globe since ancient times and circumnavigated and settled every niche but seeing this unique green planet as a finite speck in the depth of space is essential to a base understanding of our responsibility to care for and protect our planet.

Doug Lithgow
Parks and Playgrounds Movement

In October 1946 a captured V-2 rocket launched from the US Army Ordnance Proving Grounds in New Mexico, reached space by achieving an altitude of 342,900ft (104,600m).

A mounted camera, provided by John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, secured a continuous motion picture of the Earth's surface to an altitude of 65 miles (105km).

Flight International

This is the way Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders saw and photographed that famous scene on their fourth orbit of the moon December 24 1968. It is not an earth rising really. It is the view from the lunar module circling the Moon.

The Sciences Nov/Dec 1998

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