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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

The Earth rises above the Moon's landscape...as seen from the Apollo 8 spacecraft on December 24, 1968.
NASA / Bill Anders

Yesterday marked the 45-year anniversary since the Apollo 8 astronauts took this historic photo of the Earth rising above the Moon's horizon. NASA was able to recreate the iconic 'Earthrise' image (below) using data from the still-active Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter...also pinpointing the exact spot that the Apollo 8 spacecraft was above the surface when crew members Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders worked together to achieve the photo. Click on the video at the bottom of this entry to find out more details about this memorable moment in manned spaceflight.

In 2021, NASA is planning to launch a 4-person crew aboard the Space Launch System to conduct a flyby of the Moon (or head to a Near-Earth Object if the Asteroid Initiative is actually funded); it would be great to see the Earth rising above the lunar landscape from a human vantage point once again... Or above an asteroid landscape for the very first time.

Data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is still operating at the Moon, was used to re-create the Earthrise photo.
Ernie Wright - NASA Scientific Visualization Studio


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