To mark the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission and the famous “Blue Marble” full Earth image, Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visualization and Analysis Lab has rendered a new visualization inspired by the mission.
The 21 second visualization begins with the current Kennedy Space Center launch pads in the Cape Canveral area where the Apollo missions started and the Space Shuttle Missions start today. The launch pads and Florida recede from view and the full Earth fills the frame. This view is intended to recall the famous “Blue Marble” Earth image of South Africa and Antarctica taken by Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972. The animation continues with the horizon of the Moon coming into view. This view is meant to recall the famous “Earth Rise” images of earlier Apollo missions. Finally the camera tilts down towards surface of the moon which is passing below.
Please note that while the animation path and camera angles represent an artist’s conception, the visualization is constructed entirely from observations made from NASA, USGS and Space Imaging Inc. missions. The Moon data comes from NASA Clementine. The long-shot and full Earth views are from global 250 meter resolution MODIS data from the NASA Terra Aqua Satellites. The regional views of Florida come from 15 meter resolution NASA/USGS Landsat 7 Satellite data, and the local Kennedy Space Center data comes from the 1 meter resolution Space Imaging, Inc., IKONOS Satellite.
Animation courtesy Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA/GSFC Visualization and Analysis Lab