This famous “Blue Marble” shot represents the first photograph in which Earth is in full view. The picture was taken on December 7, 1972, as the Apollo 17 crew left Earth’s orbit for the moon.
This photo reveals the first view of Earth from the moon, taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 on August 23, 1966. Shot from a distance of about 236,000 miles (380,000 kilometers), this image shows half of Earth, from Istanbul to Cape Town and areas east, shrouded in night.
When Apollo 8 was deployed in 1968, its sole photographic mission was to capture high-resolution images of the moon’s surface, but when the orbiting spacecraft emerged from a photo session on the far side of the moon, the crew snapped this, the most famous shot of the mission.
The first Martian’s-eye-view of Earth and its moon was captured on May 8, 2003, by a camera aboard NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor craft. Shot from Mars at a distance of 86 million miles (139 million kilometers) from Earth, the image reveals an illuminated slice of Earth’s Western Hemisphere—as well as a celestial perspective of the world in which we live.
On July 20, 1976, spacecraft Viking 1 captured this, the first photograph ever taken of the surface of Mars. The photo shows one of three dust-covered footpads of the craft resting on Mars’s dry, rock-littered surface. Cameras strapped on either side of Viking 1’s lander helped scientists calculate distances on the surprisingly Earthlike surface of the red planet.
From June to October 1975, Russian space probe Venera 9 became the first craft to orbit, land on, and photograph Venus. Venera 9 consisted of two main parts that separated in orbit, an orbiter and a lander. The 5,070-pound (2,300-kilogram) orbiter relayed communication and photographed the planet in ultraviolet light. The lander entered the Venusian atmosphere using a series of parachutes and employed a special panoramic photometer to produce 180-degree panoramic photos of the surface of the planet.