You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Smallsteps Wallpaper: Lunar Orbiter 1

In August 1966 NASA began the Lunar Orbiter series of missions that were intended to get up-close images of smooth areas of the moon suitable for landing both Surveyor unmanned lander probes as well as the eventual manned missions of Apollo. Note that these missions had only begun 3 short years before the successful Apollo 11 mission that saw mankind take its first steps onto the surface of another world… now that is some turn-around time! Lunar Orbiter 1 actually took place while the Surveyor series of missions had already begun. This would suggest that some of the data obtained from the Lunar Orbiter probes were collected and used immediately in the execution of Surveyor missions.

Smallsteps Wallpaper: Lunar Orbiter 1

This first Lunar Orbiter mission is credited for returning the first 2 images of Earth as seen from the distance of the moon. Most people refer to these kinds of images as “Earthrise” images, although that description is incorrect in the traditional sense of the word. Since the same side of the moon always faces Earth, an Earthrise is only possible in a Lunar orbiting spacecraft that is in effect chasing the Earth. Down on the surface of the moon… if you can see Earth in the sky, then you will always see Earth in the sky. It will always be in the same place, at the same size and at all times of the Lunar day.

7 Responses to “Smallsteps Wallpaper: Lunar Orbiter 1”

  1. Bill Says:

    Really gorgeous work.

  2. thomas Says:

    ah, you just like that i linked to you.

    word.

  3. Bill Says:

    Earthrise could be seen from a range of locations around the moon’s earth-terminator due to the moon’s libration. It would be slow and perhaps partial.

  4. thomas Says:

    yeah, i get that… but i think it would be partial at best, and only at a spot where the Earth was almost already on the horizon.

  5. Mitch Hemphill Says:

    Hello,
    My Father is William Bruce Hemphill Jr.
    He was flying the Pitch and Yaw of the Lunar Orbiter at JPL when the first picture of the earth from deep space was taken. At the time he was working for Boeing in Renton Washington. He had to drive to JPL in Southern california A lot when I was in grade school.
    he is 70 now, I belive that he still has one of the orignal photos of this shot.
    Mitch Hemphill

  6. thomas Says:

    That is pretty excellent. Nice having a personal relationship with this material. I think the old images with all their imperfections are beautiful.

  7. Richard H. Kelly Says:

    I took that picture. I was the LO systems engineer at the Goldstone tracking station.
    Of course I had the help of about 500 other engineers.
    Actually the SC took the picture. I just sent the commands to program it to do so.

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