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NASA's Artemis 1 Shares First Image of Earth on the Way to the Moon: See Photo of 'Our Blue Marble'

People 2022-11-17 Marisa Sullivan

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NASA's Artemis I mission to the moon launched on 1:47 a.m. EST on Monday and just hours later, it had already captured an impressive photo of Earth.

"The views of our blue marble in the blackness of space [are] now capturing the imagination of a new generation — the Artemis generation," NASA spokesperson Sandra Jones said during a broadcast from the launch, which NASA also posted clips from on social media.

Jones added, "This view of Earth captured from a human-rated spacecraft not seen since 1972 during the final Apollo mission some 50 years ago."

David Melendrez, imagery integration lead for the Orion Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, previously described the craft's photo equipment in a press release.

"Each of Orion's four solar array wings has a commercial off-the-shelf camera mounted at the tip that has been highly modified for use in space, providing a view of the spacecraft exterior," Melendrez said.

A total of 24 cameras were installed on the rocket and spacecraft. Together, they will capture "liftoff, ascent, solar array deployment, external rocket inspections, landing and recovery," along with stunning imagery of Earth and the Moon.

RELATED: NASA Launches Artemis 1 Mission, Paving Way for Astronauts' Return to the Moon

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"A lot of folks have an impression of Earthrise based on the classic Apollo 8 shot," Melendrez continued.

"Images captured during the mission will be different than what humanity saw during Apollo missions, but capturing milestone events such as Earthrise, Orion's farthest distance from Earth, and lunar flyby will be a high priority," Melendrez added.

RELATED: NASA Offers to Fly Your Name Around the Moon on Upcoming Artemis Mission

The capsule is due to reach Earth's natural satellite around Nov. 22 after a 25-day mission.

Though there are no crew members on this mission, there are three mannequins on board, with one — named Campos — wearing an Orion crew survival suit in order to test the safety of the suits in space. NASA's Arturo Campos, who died in 2001, was a key figure credited in bringing the failed Apollo 13 mission home.

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As far as the next priority for Artemis missions, NASA says "they will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence, and serving as a steppingstone to send astronauts to Mars."

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