A TABLE AND REFERENCE LIST DOCUMENTING
OBSERVATIONS OF THE EARTH FROM MANNED EARTH ORBITAL
AND SUBORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT MISSIONS INCLUDING THE
UNMANNED APOLLO-SATURN 4 AND 6 MISSIONS
(MERCURY PROGRAM THROUGH APOLLO-SOYUZ TEST PROJECT)
LYNDON B. JOHNSON SPACE CENTER
A TABLE AND REFERENCE LIST DOCUMENTING OBSERVATIONS OF THE
EARTH FROM MANNED EARTH ORBITAL AND SUBORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT
MISSIONS INCLUDING THE UNMANNED APOLLO-SATURN 4 AND 6 MISSIONS
(MERCURY PROGRAM THROUGH APOLLO-SOYUZ TEST PROJECT)
Acting Chief, Science Payloads Division
Owen K. Garriot
Director of Science and Application
Throughout history, man has been possessed with the desire to view the Earth he has been bound to for thousands of years, from a higher vantage point. Prior to the first manned balloon flights, his greatest synoptic observations were from the highest terrain, as the summits of mountains.
During the Civil War, the earliest cameras recorded scenes of the Earth from aerial balloons at elevations of several hundred feet. Later, the use of aircraft allowed man to visually observe and record, through a variety of camera systems, increasingly more beautiful, useful, and sophisticated photography of our Earth from ever-increasing altitudes.
With the event of spaceflight, a new dimension of viewing our planet evolved. The limited photographs taken from early unmanned rockets whetted the appetites of a few individuals who could perceive the vast potential and prospective applications of the synoptic view of our Earth by the human eye, and recording photographic and imaging systems
The table is a compilation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration orbital and suborbital missions flown above our Earth in Space, from Alan Shepard’s first manned Mercury flight through the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The photographic instruments, viewing devices, reference information, and recording systems used, as well as the related training of the astronauts, experiments assigned, and remarkable data obtained by these crewmen in viewing the Earth during these missions, are listed.
The accompanying references, prepared by numerous contributors, serve to amplify and document the basic information on observations of the Earth contained in the table.
The intent of this document is to provide a history of Earth observations from manned and selected unmanned Earth-orbiting spacecraft, and to serve as a reference for planning future observations of our planet from space by man.
OBSERVATIONS OF THE EARTH FROM MANNED EARTH ORBITAL
AND SUBORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT MISSONS, INCLUDING
THE UNMANNED APOLLO-SATURN 4 AND 6 MISSIONS
(MERCURY PROGRAM THROUGH APOLLO-SOYUZ TEST PROJECT)
1. The flight of Freedom 7; C. B. Jackson, Jr., in: National Geographic, September 1961.
2. The Pilot’s Story: Astronaut Shepard’s Firsthand Account of His Flight; A. B.
Shepard, in: National Geographic, September 1961.
3. John Glenn’s Three Orbits in Friendship 7; R. B. Voas, in: National Geographic, June
4. Project Mercury: A Chronology; J. M. Grimwood, NASA SP-4001, 1963.
5. A Review of Photography of the Earth from Sounding Rockets and Satellites; P.D.
Lowman, Jr., in: NASA TN D-1868, December 1964.
6. Space Photography – A Review; P. D. Lowman, Jr., in: Photogrammetric Engineering,
7. Photography from Space; P.D. Lowman Jr., in: Science Journal, May 1965
8. This New Ocean, A History of Project Mercury; L. S. Swenson, Jr., J.M. Grimwood,
and C.C. Alexander, NASA SP-4201, 1966
9. The Earth From Orbit; P. D. Lowman, Jr., in: National Geographic, November, 1966.
10. Exploring Space With a Camera; Compiled and Edited by E. M. Cortright, NASA SP-
11. Color Photography from Space; R. W. Underwood, in: Manual of Color Aerial
Photography, American Society of Photogrammetry, 1968.
12. Apollo Experience Report – Photographic Equipment and Operations During Manned
Spaceflight Programs; H. A. Kuehnel, NASA TN D-6972, September 1972.
13. Earth Observations from Space: Outlook for the Geological Sciences; N. M. Short and
P. D. Lowman, Jr., NASA X-650-73-316, October 1973.
14. Training for Earth-Orbital Terrain Photography; P. D. Lowman, Jr., prepared for
U.S.G.S. Professional Paper, in preparation, D. Jackson, Editor.
15. Manned Space Flight Experiments Symposium, Gemini Missions III and IV;
(Published as NASA Proceedings),
held at Auditorium of the
16. Gemini 70 mm Photography Identification; R.W. Underwood, NASA, MSC, 1965-
17. Gemini Midprogram Conference, Including Experiment Results; NASA SP-121, held
18. Gemini Program Flight Summary Report; Gemini Missions I through XII, NASA
MSC-G-R-66-5 (Revision A), Change 2, January 1967.
19. Earth Resource Surveys From Spacecraft; R.A. Leestma, Principal Investigator
NASA Interagency Purchase Request
R-47-009-001, Vols. I and II,
20. Gemini Summary Conference; (Experiments S005, S006, and S008). NASA SP-138,
Sections 18 and 19 February, 1967.
Terrain Photography on the Gemini IV
Jr., J.A. McDivitt and E. H. White, III. NASA Tech. Note D-3982, June 1967.
22. Geographic Potentials of Spacecraft Imagery; R. A.Leestma, Principal Investigator,
NASA Interagency Purchase Request R-47-009-001, 1967.
23. Earth Photographs from Gemini III, IV, and V; NASA SP-129, 1967.
24. Experiments on Visual Acuity and the Visibility of markings on the Ground in Long
Duration Earth Orbital Space Flights; S. Q. Duntley et al, NASA contract No. NAS
95095, January 1968.
25. An index of Ocean Features Photographed from Gemini Spacecraft; R. E. Stevenson
And R. M. Nelson, contribution No. 253. Prepared for NASA by Bureau of
Commercial Fisheries Biological
26. Geological Orbital Photography: Experience from the Gemini Program; R.D.
Lowman, Jr., NASA X-644-68-228, June 1968.
27. View of the Earth from Space; R. E. Stevenson, in: Journal of Geological Education,
28. Orbital Photography: Applied Earth Survey Tool; F. J. Wobber, in: Photographic
Applications in Science, Technology and Medicine, Summer 1968.
Gemini Space Photographs of
30. Earth Photographs from Gemini VI Through XII; NASA SP-171, 1968.
Angel’s Eye View of
32. Manned Systems for Sensing Earth’s Resources; J. E. Dornbach, in: Proceedings of the
Earth’s Resources, September 25 and 26, 1969.
33. Project Gemini: A Chronology; J. M. Grimwood, B. C. Hacker, and P. J. Vorzimmer,
NASA SP-4002, 1969.
34. Terrain Photography from Gemini Spacecraft, Final Geologic Report; P. D. Lowman,
Jr., and H. A. Tiedemann, NASA X644-71-15, January 1971.
35. The Gemini Program, Physical Sciences Experiments Summary; (Experiments S005,
S006, D006, and M410). Compiled by E. O. Zeitler and T. G. Rogers, NASA TM X-
58075, September 1971.
36. Index Maps for Gemini Earth Photography; Assembled by L. E. Giddings, Life
Science Applications Dept., LEC, Technical Memorandum JSC-09581, April, 1975.
37. Evaluation of Geologic Photography and Observations on Gemini and Apollo Earth-
Orbital Missions; P.D. Lowman, Jr., prepared for U.S.G.S. Professional Paper, in
preparation, D. Jackson, Editor.
Analysis of Apollo AS-501
NASA TM X-58015, February 1968.
39. Apollo 6 mission Report; MSC-PA-R-68-9, May 1968.
Mapping Sciences Branch, NASA/MSC, July 1968.
Science Report of the 70-millimeter Earth
Photography of the Apollo 6
J. L. Kaltenbach, NASA Technical Note S-217, November 1969.
Potential Earth Resources Applications of the Apollo
J. L. Kaltenbach, in; 13th Annual Technical Symposium Proceedings of the SPIE,
August, 19-23, 1968.
43. Geological Comparison of Spacecraft and Aircraft Photographs of the Potrillo
Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, University
44. Handbook of Pilot Operational Equipment for Manned Space Flight; Report No.
CD42-A/SL-997, Crew Equipment and Design Branch, JSC, June 1973.
45. Apollo Earth Landmark Maps; Scale 1:1,000,000, Edition 1-NASA, June 1968.
Earth Resources Aircraft Program
October 1968 in support of Apollo 7 Mission.
Sciences Branch, NASA/MSC,
Science/Screening Report of the Apollo 7
NASA Earth Resources Aircraft Mission 981 Photography; Compiled by J. L.
Kaltenbach, NASA TM X-58029, June 1969.
50. Preflight Calibration/Performance Data for Apollo 9 Experiment S065 Assembly;
51. Apollo 9 Photographic Plotting and Indexing Report (Including Aircraft Underflights);
Mapping Sciences Branch, NASA MSC, October 1969.
52. A Survey of Earth Resources on Apollo 9 Photography; R. N. Colwell, NASA
Contract No. NAS 9-9348,
54. Apollo 9 Multispectral Photography, Geologic Analysis; P. D. Lowman, Jr.,
GSFC X-644-69-423, September 1969.
55. Preliminary Post-Flight Calibration Report on Apollo 9 Multiband Photography
So65; P. B. Keenan and P. N. Slater, Optical
56. Apollo 9 Multispectral Photographic Information; J. L. Kaltenbach, NASA
TM X-1957, April 1970.
57. New Way to Study the Ocean from Space; J. L. Kaltenbach, contributor, Ocean
Industry, September 1969.
Plate Drift in the Afar and
Seen on Space Photography; D. Bannert, NASA TN D-6277, June 1972.
59. Skylab S191 Site Map Data Package; Flight Planning Branch, JSC, R. Weitenhagen,
a. book manager; (Maps and photographs used by the crew to identify S-191 Earth
resources sites) March, 1973.
60. Skylab Program-EREP Investigators’ Information Handbook; MSC-07874, Principal
Investigations Management Office, S & AD, JSC, April 1973.
61. Manual for 70 mm Handheld Photography from Skylab; P.D. Lowman, Jr., et al,
GSFC X-644-73-147, May 1973.
62. Skylab 2 Photographic Index and Scene Identification; R.W. Underwood, JSC JL12-
601, July 1973.
63. Meteorology and Skylab; K.M. Nagler, in: Weatherwise, October 1973.
64. The S191 Skylab Spectrometer – an Example of the Astronaut’s Role in Earth
Resources Investigations; T.L. Barnett, NASA, MSC-06098, 1973.
65. Skylab 2 Handheld Photography Alphabetized Geographical Features List; Prepared
By LEC, Inc., for Earth Observations Division, February 1974.
66. Skylab visual Observations; V.R. Wilmarth, et al (Document on variety of Earth
features prepared for us by Skylab 3 crew although not carried on flight), July 1993.
67. Skylab 3 Photographic Index and Scene Identification; R .W. Underwood, JSC JL12-
602, November 1973.
68. Skylab 3 Handheld Photography Alphabetized Geographical Features List; Prepared
By LEC, Inc., for Earth Observations Division, April 1974.
69. Skylab 4 General Map Package; Flight Planning Branch, JSC, November, 1973.
Skylab 4 Visual Observations Book; Flight Planning Branch, JSC,
71. Visual Observations Lectures to Skylab 4 Crewmen; 19 Earth resources specialists,
presenting briefings on Earth resources disciplines, August – November 1973. (All
Lectures voice recorded and transcribed.)
72. Skylab Crew Integration Experience Report; Flight Crew Integration Division, NASA
Skylab 4 Postflight Crew Press Conference; NASA, JSC,
74. Visual Observations Debriefing of Skylab 4 Crewmen; 21 Earth resources specialists
Conducting the debriefings,
75. Skylab 4 Photographic Index and Scene Identification; R. W. Underwood, JSC JL12-
603, June 1974.
76. Skylab 4 Visual Observations Project Report; J.L. Kaltenbach, et al, JSC-09053,
NASA TM X-58142, June 1974.
77. Visual Observations from Space; W.B. Lenoir, et al, in; Proceedings of the
American Astronautical Society
Twentieth Annual Meeting,
78. Observations from Skylab of Mesoscale Turbulence in Ocean Currents; R.E.
Stevenson, in: Nature,
79. Skylab Program, EREP, Sensor Performance Report; Volume Vii (S190B), SL2, SL3
And SL4 Evaluation, MSC-05528,
80. Skylab, Outpost on the Frontier of Space; T. Y. Canby, in: National Geographic,
81. Skylab 4 Handheld Photography Alphabetized Geographical Features List; Prepared
by LEC, Inc., for Earth Observations Division, November, 1974.
82. Skylab Earth Resources Data Catalog; NASA, JSC 09016, 1974.
83. Processing Corrections for Skylab Photographic Imagery; H. E. Lockwood and G. E.
Sauer, Photogrammetric Engineering, April 1975.
84. Skylab Program, EREP, Sensor Performance Evaluation Final Report; Volume 1
85. Skylab Explores the Earth; V. R. Wilmarth, et al, in: Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth
The Development of the Concept of the
Naval Research, Unpublished Report, 1, March 1976.
87. Skylab Explores the Earth; Edited by G. P. Carr, et al, NASA SP-380 (in publication).
88. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Operational Data Book; MSC 07765.
89. Preliminary Plan for Earth Observations and Photography on ASTP; (Experiment
M-136), F. El-Baz,
90. Visual Observations Lectures to ASTP Astronauts; Earth resources specialists
Presenting briefings on Earth Observations, 1974-1975.
91. ASTP Earth Observation Map; Scale 1:40,000,000, Training Edition, December 1974.
92. ASTP Alternate Earth Observations Book (Timeline and Film Budget); Flight Planning
93. Earth Observations Book, ASTP Final Revision B and Revision B PCN-1; Flight
Planning Branch, JSC, June 27 and July, 1975.
94. ASTP Visual Observations Debriefing; JSC-09920, Science Requirements Branch,
95. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Index to onboard photography (70 mm, 35mm, 16mm);
R.W.Underwood, September 1975.
96. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Preliminary Science Report; NASA Editorial Review
Board, R. T. Giuli, chairman, NASA TM X-58173, February 1976 (Section 10 – Earth
Observations and Photography Experiment MA-136, F. El-Baz and D.A. Mitchell).
97. Earth Observations and Photography Experiment MA-136 Science Report; compiled
By F. El-Baz, et al, (in preparations).
98. Oceanography From Space; Edited by G.C. Ewing, Proceedings of Conference on the
Feasibility of Conducting Oceanographic Explorations from Aircraft, Manned Orbital
And Lunar Laboratories, Woods
99. Remote Sensing of Natural Resources; R. N. Colwell, in: Scientific American, January
100. Space Panorama; P.D. Lowman, Jr., Weltflugbild Rhinehold A. Miller Feldmeilen,
101. Remote Sensing: New Eyes to See the World; K. F. Weaver, in: National Geographic,
102. Oceans From Space; Edited by P. C. Badgley, L. Miloy and L. F. Childs, Proceedings
of a Symposium on the Status of Knowledge, Critical Research Needs, and Potential
Research Facilities Relating to the Study of the Oceans from Space, Gulf Publishing
103. Ecological Surveys From Space; Office of Space Science and Applications,
NASA SP-230, 1970.
105. Monitoring Earth Resources from Aircraft and Spacecraft; R. N. Colwell, et al,
NASA SP-275, 1971.
106. The View From Space, Photographic Exploration of the Planets; M. E. Davies and
B. C. Murray,
107. The Third Planet; P. D. Lowman, Jr., Rhinehold Press, 1972.
108. The Application of Space Imagery to Anthropology; T. R. Lyons, et al, in:
Proceedings Of the Third Annual Conference on Remote Sensing in Arid Lands,
109. Interpretation of Orbital Photographs; L. D. Carter and R. O. Stone, Photogrammetric
Engineering, February 1974.
110. The Earth From Space; J. Bodechtel and H. G. Gierloff-Emden, Arco Publishing Co.,
111. Weltraumbilder, Die dritte Entdeckung der Erde; J. Bodechtel and H. –G. Gierloff-
112. The Earth in the Looking Glass; Lloyd Darden, Anchor Press/Doubleday,
Garden City, N. Y., 1974.
113. From Mercury to Skylab: A decade of Space Oceanography; R. E. Stevenson, in; Pro-
ceedings of the IEEE Conference on Engineering In the Ocean Environment and
Annual Meeting of the MTS,
114. Manual of Remote Sensing; R. G. Reeves, Editor-in-chief, Vols. I and II, The
American Society of Photogrammetry, 1975.
115. Die Erde neu entdeckt, Farbige satelliten-Fotos; L. Beckel and S. Schneider, v. Hase &
Koehler Verlag/Mainz Publisher,
116. Geoscience Application of Space Technology, 1975-2000; P. D. Lowman, Jr.,
GSFC X-922-76-136, January 1976.
117. The Evolution of Geological Space Photography; P. D. Lowman, Jr., in: Remote
Sensing in Geology, John Wiley Co., Publisher, (Publication expected in 1976)
118. Manned Earth Science Observations; E. G. Gibson, The Aerospace Corp., prepared for
Office of Manned Spaceflight, NASA Aerospace Report No. ATR-76 (7376)-1,
This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science Directorate.
Recommended Citation: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .