First Pictures of the Earth Taken from the Moon are Restored

Almost 50 years ago to the day on August 23rd, 1966 NASA used five lunar orbiters to takes pictures of the moon in order to find proper landing sites for the upcoming manned missions.  In the background of some of those pictures we can see our own world in what were the first pictures of the earth taken from another celestial body.

Given the technology of the time the quality of the printouts were not very good.

NASA lunar orbiter photo

But the pictures themselves were actually of much higher resolution as can be seen below the fold.

NASA lunar orbiter photo

This image was restored from data tapes that had nearly been thrown out several times over the years.  They were found and recently restored in a makeshift lab set up in an abandoned McDonald’s by a group lead by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee.   Appropriately enough, they named their facility McMoon’s.

It is hard to believe something commemorating such a milestone in human exploration was almost consigned to the trash heap.

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