50 Years Ago: Apollo 17

On Dec. 7, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 took this photo of Earth as they journeyed to the Moon. Known today as the “Blue Marble,” this picture has since become one of the most iconic images of our home world.

View of the Earth seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon

NASA ID: as17-148-22727

AS17-148-22727 (7 Dec. 1972) — This view of Earth was seen by the Apollo 17 crew as they traveled toward the moon on their NASA lunar landing mission. This outstanding trans-lunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is the Malagasy Republic. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast. The Apollo 17 crew consisted of astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, mission commander; Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot; and Harrison H. Schmitt, lunar module pilot. While astronauts Cernan and Schmitt descended in the Lunar Module (LM) to explore the moon, astronaut Evans remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) in lunar orbit.

  • Date Created: 1972-12-07
  • Center: JSC

APOLLO 17: A real-time journey through last landing on the Moon.

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