Earthrise

The first colour Earth.

The first colour image of the whole Earth was little known because it was taken by a military satellite. DODGE – for ‘Department of Defense Gravitational Experiment’ – was sent into a near-geostationary orbit 21,000 miles up in August 1967 to test a new way of stabilising satellites, using long adjustable booms with weights. Photography wasn’t its purpose, but it needed to take pictures of the Earth in order to check its orientation. The film camera was black and white, but red, green and blue filters were put in turn in front of the lens and the three pictures processed, scanned, transmitted to Earth and reassembled. The small disc in front of the picture is a colour match card.

(Smithsonian Institution).