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First Photo of Earth From the Moon Happened

NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 1

First Photo of Earth From the Moon Happened

On August 23, 1966, NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photo of Earth from the moon's orbit, and it forever changed how we see our home planet.

Pictures of Earth from space had been taken before, by rockets in the 1940s, and satellites in the 1950s and 1960s. However, those pictures captured just parts of Earth, as opposed to a full-on view of the planet. But that was about to change. 

In the summer of 1966, the Beatles were performing their last string of public concerts, the Baltimore Orioles were on the way to their first World Series championship, the National Organization for Women was founded, and the United States was preparing to send the first humans to the moon. But before NASA could send astronauts to our lunar neighbor, they needed to find a safe place to land. So from 1966-67, the Lunar Orbiter program dispatched unmanned reconnaissance spacecraft to orbit the moon.

The first spacecraft, Lunar Orbiter 1, left Earth on August 10, 1966 -- 92 hours later it was orbiting the moon.

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