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.
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1968, Apollo 8
The first image of planet Earth was taken by astronaut Bill Anders aboard Apollo 8 as it made its way to the moon on December 24, 1968. Anders was joined by Jim Lovell and Frank Borman, the first astronauts to leave low Earth orbit and slingshot (but not land) around the moon. The mission lasted six days.
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1969, Apollo 10
The next mission to get a shot of the whole Earth was Apollo 10, the dress rehearsal for the moon landing that would take place months later. The shot was taken by Tom Stafford, the Commander of the second NASA mission to slingshot around the moon.