Men's Journal

The History of the Whole Earth: 48 Years of the Planet in Pictures


In 1966 Stewart Brand, the tech pioneer and Merry Prankster, had a vision. Why, he wondered, hadn't the government, in the midst of its moonshot ambitions, released an image of our planet in its entirety, taken from space? Two years and one huge grassroots campaign later, NASA complied, releasing an image from aboard Apollo 8. With that, The Whole Earth Catalog was born, and the way we saw our environment — small and fragile like a ship in space — changed forever. Since that first image, NASA released many others, taken from the Apollo missions, probes, and just last year from NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory. For Earth Day, we have compiled those images, true photographs taken from space of our fragile, one-of-a-kind home.