Timeline of first images of Earth from space

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This is a timeline of first images of Earth from space. The initial photographs and digital images of planet Earth taken from outer space were preceded by aerial photography and continue in the form of satellite imagery.

For the purpose of this list, a spaceflight is defined as any flight that crosses the Kármán line, the FAI-recognized edge of space, which is 100 kilometres (62 miles) above mean sea level (AMSL).

Images[edit]

Image Date Craft or mission Event
First photo from space.jpg October 24, 1946 V-2 First image of Earth from outer space, taken by the V-2 No. 13 suborbital spaceflight.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]
Small Steps Panorama.jpg March 7, 1947 First panorama of Earth from outer space.[9]
[image needed] February-March 1959 Vanguard 2 First attempt of a scanner, in which a single photocell mounted at the focus of telescope would scan Earth due to the satellite movement; resulting images were poor.[10]
First satellite photo - Explorer VI.jpg August 14, 1959 Explorer 6 First image of Earth from orbit, showing a sunlit area of the Central Pacific Ocean and its cloud cover.[11][12][13][14]
[image needed] 1959 Explorer 7 The first "coarse maps of the solar radiation reflected by the Earth and the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth", from a mission launched on October 13, 1959.[15]
TIROS-1-Earth.png 1960 TIROS-1 First television image of Earth from space and first weather satellite picture.[16]
CORONA first image.jpg 1960 Corona "[F]irst space-based earth observation system";[17] its first successful mission was Discoverer 14 on 1960-08-19 with the recovery of photographic film from an orbiting satellite.[17][18]
[image needed] August 6, 1961 Vostok 2 First image of Earth from space taken by a person, first color images and first movie of Earth from space, by cosmonaut Gherman Titov – the first photographer from space.[19]
[image needed] 1963 KH-7 Gambit First high-resolution (sub-meter spatial resolution) satellite photography (classified).[20]
[image needed] 1964 Quill First radar images of Earth from space, using a synthetic aperture radar (SAR).[21]
FirstSpaceWalk.png March 18, 1965 Voskhod 2 First image and video of Earth with a human (Alexei Leonov) floating in space (the first ever EVA).
[image needed] First drawing of Earth from space and art made in space (by Leonov, the first artist in space).[22]
[image needed] May 30, 1966 Molniya 1-3 First full-disk pictures of the Earth.[23][14]
First View of Earth from Moon.jpg August 23, 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 First image of Earth from the Moon's orbit and first picture of both Earth and the Moon from space.[24][25][26][7][13]
[image needed] December 11, 1966 ATS-1 First picture of both Earth and the Moon from the Earth's orbit.[27]
ATS-1 (Earth full disk), 1966.jpg December 11, 1966 First full-disk pictures of the Earth from a geostationary orbit.[27]
[image needed] January 1967 First movie of Earth from space made without a human camera operator (contrast to Titov's 1961 movie)[27]
First-color-photo-of-earth-from-the-moon.png 1967 Surveyor 3 First image of Earth from the Moon's surface.[28]
First color image of the earth from outer space (Dodge Satellite).png August 1967 DODGE First full-disk color pictures of the Earth.[6]
ATSIII 10NOV67 153107.jpg November 10, 1967 ATS-3 Another claim for first full-disk color pictures of the Earth;[29] subsequently used on the cover of the first Whole Earth Catalog.[30][29]
As08-16-2593.jpg 1968 Apollo 8 First full-size image of Earth from space taken by a person, probably by astronaut William Anders.[31]
NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise.jpg 1968 The Earthrise image is the first image of Earth from the Moon by a person (William Anders).[25][6][13]
AS11-40-5923 (21669280451).jpg July 21, 1969 Apollo 11 First[a] image of Earth taken by a person from the surface of the Moon.
[image needed] 1977 KH-11 First real-time satellite imagery.[32]
First Picture of the Earth and Moon in a Single Frame - GPN-2002-000202.jpg September 18, 1977 Voyager 1 First full-size picture of both Earth and the Moon.[27]
Pale Blue Dot.png February 14, 1990 The Pale Blue Dot is the first image of Earth from beyond all of the other Solar System planets. It is part of the first picture of the full extent of the planetary system, known as the Family Portrait.[13][33]
December 11, 1990 Galileo First movie of a full rotation of Earth.[34]
[image needed] October 13, 1999 IKONOS First commercial high-resolution (sub-meter) satellite photography (non-classified); it made the cover of the New York Times.[35]
Earth and Moon from Mars PIA04531.jpg May 8, 2003 13:00 UTC Mars Global Surveyor First image of Earth and the Moon from Mars (in orbit); notice South America is visible.[25][6]
PIA05547-Spirit Rover-Earth seen from Mars.png March 11, 2004 Spirit Mars Exploration rover First image taken of Earth from the surface of Mars and any other celestial body than the Moon.
PIA08324 - Pale Blue Orb.jpg July 27, 2006 Cassini-Huygens The Pale Blue Orb is the first image of Earth from Saturn (and second image from the outer Solar System).[36]
[image needed] November 18, 2020 Solar Orbiter First image of Earth with its planetary neighbours Venus and Mars from inside their orbits.[37][34]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The earlier and much reproduced full frame image AS11-40-5903 of Buzz Aldrin, features in his visor a reflection of Earth.[38]
    Aldrin Apollo 11 original.jpg

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Photo From Space". October 24, 2006. Archived from the original on January 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "The First Image of Earth Taken From Space (It's Not What You Think)". August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "First photo of Earth from space was from deadly rocket". February 26, 2015. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020.
  4. ^ "70 years ago the first image of Earth was taken from space". October 26, 2016. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016.
  5. ^ "The First Photo of Earth From Space Was Taken 70 Years Ago Today". October 24, 2016. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d "Viewing The Earth From Space Celebrates 70 Years". August 22, 2016. Archived from the original on August 23, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Space Photos Before NASA: The Oldest Images Of Earth". October 28, 2017. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "The first photograph of Earth taken from space". October 24, 2017. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "First Pictures of Earth From 100 Miles in Space, 1947". March 6, 2009. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "Vanguard II Turns 60". April 23, 2019. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  11. ^ "Explorer 6: 60 years since first Earth photo from space". August 7, 2019. Archived from the original on August 8, 2019.
  12. ^ "60 years ago first satellite image of Earth". September 7, 2019. Archived from the original on September 7, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d "60 Years Ago We Saw Earth From Space for the First Time — Here's How We See It Now". August 22, 2019. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Mars, Kelli (December 17, 2020). "90 Years of Our Changing Views of Earth". NASA. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  15. ^ Kidder, S.Q.; Vonder Haar, T.H. (1995). Satellite Meteorology: An Introduction. Elsevier Science. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-08-057200-0. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  16. ^ Anderson, George D. (April 1, 2010). "The first weather satellite picture". Weather. 65 (4): 87. Bibcode:2010Wthr...65...87A. doi:10.1002/wea.550. ISSN 1477-8696.
  17. ^ a b "2005 Draper Prize – Corona Historic Images". NAE Website.
  18. ^ "Discoverer 14 – NSSDC ID: 1960-010A". NASA.
  19. ^ Reichhardt, Tony (August 5, 2011). "The First Photographer in Space". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "USGS EROS Archive – Declassified Data – Declassified Satellite Imagery – 2". Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  21. ^ Robert L. Butterworth "Quill: The First Imaging Radar Satellite" [1]
  22. ^ Brown, Mark (August 31, 2015). "First picture drawn in space to appear in cosmonauts show in London". the Guardian. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  23. ^ Joel Achenbach (January 3, 2012). "Spaceship Earth: The first photos". Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  24. ^ Stein, Ben P. (August 23, 2011). "45 Years Ago: How the 1st Photo of Earth From the Moon Happened". Space.com. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  25. ^ a b c "Milestones in Space Photography". Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  26. ^ "Fifty Years Ago, This Photo Captured the First View of Earth From the Moon". August 23, 2016. Archived from the original on August 25, 2016.
  27. ^ a b c d "The 50th Anniversary of ATS-1". NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). December 6, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  28. ^ "First image of Earth from the surface of the Moon: Surveyor 3". The Planetary Society. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020.
  29. ^ a b @SciHistoryOrg (April 24, 2020). "Science History Institute on Twitter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ "Our SpaceFlight Heritage: ATS-3 relays first color images of Earth". November 10, 2014. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  31. ^ Woods, W. David; O'Brien, Frank (2006). "Day 1: The Green Team and Separation". Apollo 8 Flight Journal. NASA. Archived from the original on September 23, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2008. TIMETAG 003:42:55.
  32. ^ "Spying on a Hubble Telescope Look-Alike". May 29, 2010. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  33. ^ "Our home world from afar". April 22, 2020. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020.
  34. ^ a b "The latest self-portrait in a gallery of Earth photos taken from space". CBC. January 29, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  35. ^ "IKONOS 20th Anniversary". Archived from the original on March 27, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  36. ^ "This day in 2013: The Day the Earth Smiled". EarthSky. July 19, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  37. ^ Starr, Michelle (January 30, 2021). "Family Photo Snapped by Solar Orbiter Shows Venus, Earth And Mars Gleaming Like Stars". ScienceAlert. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  38. ^ Byrne., Dave (July 8, 2019). "Apollo 11 Image Library". hq.nasa.gov. Retrieved June 10, 2021.