NASA released an aerial image of Earth captured from space 48 years ago. The U.S.-based space agency shared the image on Thursday, May 18, which was captured in 1969.
The aerial image was taken from Apollo 10 during its trans-lunar journey and shows what our plant looked like roughly five decades ago.
NASA Shares Aerial Image Captured In 1969
The aerial image NASA shared shows a view of the planet from a distance of 36,000 nautical miles. The crew of the famed Apollo 10 lunar mission, which was the second manned mission to Earth's satellite moon, is credited for capturing the aerial image.
In the Apollo 10's view of Earth, the Yucatan Peninsula is seen hidden under cloud cover. However, most of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is clearly visible in Apollo 10's view of Earth. One can also identify the San Joaquin Valley, the Gulf of California, and Baja California from the 48-year-old image. On closer observation, one can also identify the Texan coast and the Rio Grande River delta.
The Apollo 10 Lunar Mission
Apollo 10 was the second manned lunar mission and the fourth in the Apollo space program series. The crew members of the Apollo 10 space shuttle were Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene E. Cernan who were the commander, command module pilot, and the lunar module pilot, respectively
While astronaut Young remained onboard the CSM or Command and Service Module, astronauts Cernan and Stafford dropped down within nine miles of the moon's surface in the Lunar Module. Apollo 10 was famous for its Peanuts character monikers. While the CSM was named "Charlie Brown," the Lunar Module Cernan and Stafford used for their descent was called "Snoopy."
The lunar orbital mission was 8 days 3 minutes and 23 seconds long. It was also the first manned space shuttle to gain a record high speed during its journey into space. The data that was collected during the Apollo 10 space mission was later used in the Apollo 11 space mission, which commenced two months later.
"Houston, this is Apollo 10. You can tell the world we have arrived" were the first words that Stafford spoke once the crew reached the moon. Stafford was conferred the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1993.
"I am very proud to have contributed to our nation's future in space and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the beginning of America's venture into the new and endless frontier" Stafford stated during his acceptance speech at the time.