Apollo 8 'Earthrise' photographer calls Northwest home

Apollo 8 'Earthrise' photographer calls Northwest home

Berg contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Once Lovell keyed in the necessary commands, the Apollo 8 began its three-day journey towards the moon, thereby becoming the first manned vehicle to escape the influence of Earth's gravity.

The Greek god Apollo had a friend who'd sometimes take him for a ride: the sun god Helios.

Popular Mechanics: "Why Apollo 8 Mattered" - "The small step for man, the giant leap for mankind, Eagle One, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong-Apollo 11 gets all the glory".

Thomas Reinertsen Berg, author of "Theater of the World". NASA hopes that the planned manned missions to the planet will help human beings learn skills and develop technology to enable a future landing of many people.

Could the Saturn V and the Apollo spaceship be ready in time?

In 1570, the Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius published the first atlas in the world. America in 1968 had already experienced so much anguish - the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, race riots in United States cities, the bloody Tet offensive in Vietnam. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

Despite the initial impact of seeing this remote view of our home, 50 years later, it would seem that our planet - or at least the relatively comfortable existence human civilization has carved out on it - is still in great jeopardy. "I have a special affinity for it because of my early involvement in it, but it was also a very daring and bold thing to do, and that added to the excitement". I can clearly see the terminator.

The view just south of Florida.

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"Hey, I got it right here!"

As it happened, the six-day mission blasted off into space on December 21 with Borman, Lovell and Anders on board. There was zero interest in images of the Earth at the outset.

After three of the 10 orbits around the moon during which the astronauts filmed and photographed craters and mountains on the moon, Borman rolled the craft away from the moon for the first time, pointing the windows towards the horizon to get a navigational fix. But on Christmas Eve, 1968, the capsule made it to the lunar orbit. "There's the Earth comin' up". "Look at that picture over there!" Wow, is that pretty!' said Anders, the crew's lead photographer. But equally memorable is the famous "Earthrise" photo that resulted, showing Earth rising above the lunar landscape. On viewers' screens, there was a slight brightening on the lunar horizon, and then a crackly recitation by the astronauts.

Such a sight inspires contrasting feelings.

The Earthrise has been recognised as one of the best images in human history as it has not only proved influential as an environmental image, but has also been one of the most reproduced ever. And yet, as we saw ourselves from so far away for the first time, we realized how lush our world is compared to the desolation of our moon and the emptiness of space.

Three happy Apollo 8 astronauts, Frank Borman, left, William A. Anders, center, and James A. Lovell, stroll across the deck of the USS Yorktown after their recovery from the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 28, 1968.

It still is. Ortelius called his book a theater because the Greek word theatron means "a place for seeing".

On his first flight, he was was handed just the assignment he wanted, test-flying both the Apollo and the lunar module in low-Earth orbit, along with his senior crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell.

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