We are a Watery World
Beginnings of Whole Earth Imaging from Space
Aboard Apollo, December 24, 1968
As the Apollo 8 spaceship swings around the Moon and unexpectedly the Earth rises and the astronauts are amazed at what is coming into view ...
Astronaut Bill Anders is the first to see the Earth:
"Oh, my God, look at that picture over there," he can be heard saying. "There's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!"
What happened next will sound familiar to anyone who remembers the days before digital cameras:
Anders (to astronaut Jim Lovell): "You got a color film, Jim? Hand me a roll of color, quick, would you?"
Lovell: "Oh, man, that's great! Where is it?"
Anders: "Hurry. Quick."
Lovell: "Down here?"
Anders: "Just grab me a color. A color exterior. Hurry up. Got one?"
Lovell: "Yeah, I'm lookin' for one. C368."
Anders: "Anything quick."
Lovell hands him the film just as Anders is heard saying, "I think we missed it."
But within seconds, Lovell sees the shot again in another window of the command module. He asks for the camera from Anders, who seems a bit defensive at having his role as mission photographer usurped.
Anders: "Wait a minute, just let me get the right setting here now, just calm down. Calm down, Lovell!"
Anders then gets the shot that has been reproduced innumerable times all over the world...
The Earthrise image changes forever humanity's vision of ourselves, of who we are.
December 25, 2018
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