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Apollo 10 Photograph of Earthrise Over Mare Smythii

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Original NASA print of this iconic photograph, noted in the agency's Apollo 10 Digital Picture Library as "Earthrise from lunar orbit. Possibly the first after Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI)." The attached original mimeographed press release notes that the Lunar Module "at the time the picture was taken was located above the lunar farside highlands at approximately 105 degrees east longitude."

  • NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration].
  • Houston: NASA, (May 1969).
  • NASA AS10-27-3890.
  • Original vintage Kodak photograph taken from the Apollo 10 Lunar Module, "Snoopy," looking west — evocative of the iconic photo taken just months before by Apollo 8.
  • Original Kodak Paper print with blue NASA photo number printed on recto and Kodak watermark to verso.
  • Includes a mimeographed NASA press release taped to verso.

"To see our home planet from this point of view was absolutely awesome. It was nearly breathtaking. I was reminded of Socrates's saying in 399 B.C., before flight above the ground was theorized: 'A man must rise above the Earth to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, and only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.'" — Apollo 10 astronaut Thomas Stafford.

Apollo 10 was the fourth human spaceflight mission of the Apollo project, the second to orbit the Moon, and the final one before the successful Moon landing two months later. NASA's own jubilant press release, published June 17, 1969, reported: "There were a few chilling moments when the Lunar Module (LM), code-named Snoopy, gyrated wildly as the descent stage was cast off about 12 nautical miles above the surface of the moon, but, nevertheless, it was a nearly flawless flight. The LM descended to within 8.4 nautical miles of the moon for a close-up inspection of the preferred landing site for Apollo 11 in the Sea of Tranquility." The Apollo 10 mission was remarkable for making the first live color TV transmissions from space, as part of what NASA proudly termed a "TV Spectacular," and the mission photography was overall of excellent quality: "Considerable farside photography was obtained, including some areas at the eastern limb where only poor imagery had existed" (Lunar and Planetary Institute).

Condition Report

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Like New

Minor soiling near tape and spotting on verso.


Height: 8 inches / 20.32 cm
Width: 10 inches / 25.4 cm

Collectible Type


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United States

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