This is the Web Edition of "A Trip Into Space", a Coimbra-based electronic book on space science. Both the texts and the photos are by courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Earth
As Seen By The Apollo 17 Crew Traveling Towards The Moon

Probably the most requested picture of the Earth, this picture was taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts as they left earth orbit en route to the Moon. Taken on Dec. 7, 1972, it was the first time that the trajectory of an Apollo mission enabled a view of the south pole.

View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar 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.

Last Update: 2004-Nov-28