This awe-inspiring photo captures the iconic "Earthrise" moment during the Apollo 11 mission, as the Earth majestically ascends over the Moon's horizon. The lunar terrain featured in the image is situated in the area of Smyth's Sea on the Moon's nearside. The geographical coordinates corresponding to the center of this landscape are 85 degrees east longitude and 3 degrees north latitude. The breathtaking composition of the Earth emerging above the lunar surface serves as a powerful reminder of our home planet's beauty and fragility in the vast expanse of space.
The NASA press release text on the verso reads:
APOLLO 11 -- EARTH VIEW -- This view of the rising Earth greeted the Apollo 11 astronauts as they came from behind the Moon after the lunar orbit insertion burn. Earth is just above the lunar horizon in this photograph The unnamed surface features in the foreground are near the eastern limb of the Moon as viewed from Earth Earth is 240,000 statute miles away.
The Apollo 11 mission, launched on July 16, 1969, was a historic and groundbreaking spaceflight that marked the first time humans set foot on the moon. Led by commander Neil A. Armstrong, lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins, the mission achieved the ambitious goal set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to land humans on the moon and return them safely to Earth. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin spent over two hours exploring the lunar surface, collecting samples, and conducting experiments, while Collins orbited above in the command module. Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," encapsulate the monumental impact of the Apollo 11 mission on human history, as it demonstrated the incredible achievements made possible through scientific innovation, collaboration, and determination.