It was 1968. The Cold War was at its height the Cold War. Among other things, the “space race” was controversial, a battle between powers whose goal was the moon. After all, the Americans won Apollo 11 with the moon landing on July 20, 1969. But there was a lot more on this road. Among other things, the first photo of the earth from the moon a few months earlier.
On December 21, 1968, NASA’s Apollo 8 mission started in Cape Canaveral. The crew, which was subjected to tough training, were prepared for anything. Less for the inexplicable beauty of the first photo of the earth from the moon.
Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first to orbit the moon. It took Apollo 8 3 days to reach its destination. And it circled around for about 20 hours before it could do ten laps.
Ironically, the spaceship held its back to Earth for the first three revolutions of the satellite. Only on the fourth detour did the ship orient itself to the earth. This enabled them to be the first to see the blue planet in all its glory from space.
Bill Anders would immortalize the moment. The snapshot was taken on Christmas Eve 1968. It was baptized as The Earthrise, (The beginning of the earth). The photo showed a world emerging from the darkness of space on a lunar landscape illuminated by the sun. It showed the stark contrast between the gray, desolate, static and lifeless landscape of the moon and the gentle blue-white sphere of the moon’s fertile earth. It was an oasis of warmth and life in the middle of a barren, cold and hostile desert.
The renowned British cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle predicted it. The first images of the earth from space would change the human perception of our planet forever. It was like this. The picture became an iconic reminder of the loneliness of our world. “Earthrise” a great impact on public awareness. Over time, it would become the symbol of several environmental movements.
Since then, only a privileged few have been able to view the earth as a whole from space. However, the image of the blue planet was taken multiple times and from different corners of the solar system.
When we look at these photos, we land in reality. We live in the middle of our bubble and act as masters and masters of the universe. But from a very distant point, our planet is just a pale point in the sky. A humble and almost invisible point among millions of stars.