Advertisements

Today in 1966: Lunar Orbiter I Launched to Map our Moon

Earth was seen from the Moon for the first time by Lunar Orbiter I on August 23, 1966. (NASA/LPI/USGS)

Earth was seen from the Moon for the first time by Lunar Orbiter I on August 23, 1966. (NASA/LPI/USGS)

A test version of a Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. (Eric Long, National Air & Space Museum)

A test version of the 2-meter-long, 390-kg Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. (Eric Long, National Air & Space Museum)

On August 10, 1966, NASA’s Lunar Orbiter I launched from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas-Agena D rocket, the flagship spacecraft of a program designed to map the Moon and investigate intended landing sites for the planned Apollo landings, including helping determine the risks from micrometeorite and radiation exposure. Over the course of the next twelve months and five successful missions the Lunar Orbiter program photographed 99% of the Moon’s surface, both nearside and far, to a resolution as fine as 1 meter – which at the time was ten times better than what could be achieved from Earth.

Lunar Orbiter I was also responsible for sending back our first views of Earth from lunar orbit, one of which can be seen above.

Learn more about Lunar Orbiter here, and see original images from the Lunar Orbiter program here. Also, check out a cool old Apollo-era film about the Lunar Orbiter and Apollo prep missions below:

Recently a group of researchers and engineers set themselves to the seemingly Sisyphean task of recovering and remastering the image data collected by NASA’s pre-Apollo lunar missions, much of which was archived in now-antiquated analog tape formats. See the results of their work on the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) site here and here.

Advertisements

About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on August 10, 2015, in Earth, The Moon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The Soviets succeeded in making the first crash landing on the Moon in 1959 would be interesting to see some video coverage of their projects ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Is This New Picture of Earth From the Moon for Real? Yes, Yes It Is. | Lights in the Dark

  2. Pingback: Today in 1966: Lunar Orbiter I Launched to Map our Moon – chertrina

Have an opinion about this? Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: