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SpaceX shares stunning ‘blue marble’ footage of Earth

SpaceX recently shared some stunning footage captured from the second stage of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

The clip (below) shows Earth from thousands of miles away, with ocean, land, and cloud all clearly visible. Most striking, however, is the planet’s marble-like appearance that brings to mind the iconic “blue marble” shot captured during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 that gave us one of our first incredibly clear views of Earth.

View from the second stage following last week's launch of SES-18 and SES-19 to a geosynchronous transfer orbit

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 20, 2023

The footage was captured during SpaceX’s March 17 mission to deploy the Northrop Grumman-built SES-18 and SES-19 telecommunications satellites that will provide C-band television and data services across the U.S.

The video was shot from the second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket as it carried the satellites to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

This is the kind of amazing view that the astronauts on the upcoming Artemis II mission will be able to enjoy as they head to the moon in a historic mission currently scheduled for next year.

During the crewless Artemis I test flight last year, the Orion spacecraft beamed back similarly breathtaking views of Earth from 57,000 miles away.

The footage marked the first time for a human-rated spacecraft to shoot distant images of Earth since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

“The views of our blue marble in the blackness of space are now capturing the imagination of a new generation, the Artemis generation,” a NASA representative said at the time.

Closer but equally awesome imagery of Earth is captured regularly by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, which orbits about 250 miles above Earth. It’s too close to show our planet as a sphere, but the pictures of particular features, of both land and water, are no less beautiful.

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Trevor Mogg
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